One of the great career position coaches -- not to mention one of the great men -- in college football is calling it a day.
Stanford defensive line coach Randy Hart announced his retirement Tuesday through a press release distributed by the Cardinal athletics department. “I am honored and blessed to have been at so many great places with so many fantastic coaches, student-athletes and fans,” Hart said in a statement. “And for that, I’m one of the luckiest coaches ever.
“I have loved each one of my players, and have enjoyed working with every staff member throughout the years. Everyone has to make this decision at some point in time, and this was the right time for me and my family.”
Hart was a product of the Woody Hayes coaching tree; he played football and wrestled at Ohio State, contributing on the Buckeyes' undefeated 1969 team. Hart stuck around as a graduate assistant in 1970, then joined Hayes assistant Earle Bruce as a full-time assistant at the University of Tampa in 1972.
Thus began a run of 46 seasons -- FORTY-SIX SEASONS -- as a college football assistant at Tampa, Iowa State, Purdue, Ohio State, Washington, Notre Dame and Stanford. Hart's 46 seasons ended in bowl games 28 times, including 10 Rose Bowls as a coach or player. Before leading Stanford's stone wall of a defensive line, Hart developed dominating fronts during the early 1990's at Washington, helping the Huskies reach three straight Rose Bowls, claim the school's only national title and help Steve Emtman launch a career that would eventually land him in the College Football Hall of Fame.
Hart was named the FootballScoop Defensive Line Coach of the Year in 2012.
“Randy’s career speaks for itself when you look at a national championship, Rose Bowls and all of the players he helped get to the NFL,” head coach David Shaw said. “It has been a privilege for me to watch him push young men to be their best athletically, as well as academically, and prepare them for life.
“We will miss Randy greatly, but I’m happy for him and his wife, Linda, as they will have more time to spend with their children and grandchildren.”
Hart and wife Linda have two sons, Jay and John.