Austin Anderson Names Little Elm co-DC Donald Hatcher as Head Coach
For the third-straight season, Austin Anderson will have a new head coach at the helm.
Just hours after interim head coach Roderick Thompson posted on Twitter that he would not be returning for the 2022 season despite wanting to stay with the program, it was announced on Wednesday afternoon that Little Elm co-defensive coordinator Donald Hatcher, a Rockdale native, would be the next head coach of the Trojans.
“It’s a dream come true to be back home,” Hatcher said. “Being a head coach has always been a dream of mine. I don’t take it very lightly. I know there’s going to be a lot on my shoulders, but I’m there for the kids first. That’s my goal is to make athletics as enjoyable for the kids as it can be.”
Despite originally being from around the Austin area and coaching at Austin LBJ from 2005-2007, Hatcher has spent his last fourteen seasons in the Dallas area, coaching at DeSoto and Little Elm for seven years apiece.
But after fourteen years away, Hatcher said it was time to come home.
“It’s a great area,” Hatcher said. “My family all loves Austin. The chance to get back home has always been a goal of mine, and it happens to be at one of the best schools in Central Texas.”
On the field, Hatcher will certainly have his work cut out for him. The Trojans have a daunting draw in District 26-6A with state powers Lake Travis and Westlake, 2021 playoff teams Dripping Springs, Buda Johnson, and Austin Bowie, and Austin High, Akins, and Del Valle all ready to square off in a stacked nine team district.
However, Hatcher isn’t intimidated in the least bit after coming from Little Elm, where the Lobos had to face off with Prosper, Allen, and Denton Guyer. After watching the Lobos knock off Prosper 59-56 this past season, Hatcher has full belief his Anderson team can hang with anyone if they take the field with the right attitude and have some fun.
“On the field, expectations are high,” Hatcher said. “Names of schools that we play, that doesn’t bother me at all. I expect the kids to get out there and compete.”
Despite the graduation of star running back Colin Page (1,702 rushing yards, 920 receiving yards, and 28 total touchdowns in 2021), who is slated to walk on at The University of Texas, the Trojans are expected to bring back plenty of talent next season.
Quarterback Fred Dale (2,277 passing yards and 17 touchdowns) already has two years of starting experience under his belt, while receiver Ed Small (232 receiving yards and a touchdown) had a breakout year as a freshman before suffering a season-ending injury in the fifth game of this past season.
Cole Canaday (434 receiving yards and 60 total tackles) has proven to be a force on both sides of the ball, and linebacker IV Webb (125 total tackles) terrorized opposing offenses as the leading tackler for the Trojans in the fall. Both are poised to be part of the Trojans’ senior leadership this upcoming season.
But after finishing 1-7 in 2020, the Trojans took a step forward last year, finishing with a 3-7 record, including a wild 68-61 win over Leander in the season finale. Their offense improved from averaging 19.7 points per game in 2020 all the way up to 33.9 points last season.
That improvement didn’t go unnoticed as Hatcher had high praise for the work Thompson and his staff put in developing the Trojans in 2021.
“I know the coaching staff there at Anderson did a great job this year,” Hatcher said. “I can’t thank them enough for the improvements they made to the program.”
And after spending the past 14 seasons coaching at just two schools, Hatcher said he hopes to be a Trojan for a long time.
“I’m a very loyal guy,” Hatcher said. “I like to get somewhere and build it up. I’m not looking for something that’s going to be quick and move up. Where I go, I want my kids to stay and grow up in the area.”
Take a look at District 26-6A and the complete 6A Regions III and IV alignment HERE
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