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Valdosta State's Hatcher coming to GSU

New coach to be introduced at a press conference Friday

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Posted: January 18, 2007 3:40 p.m.
Updated: February 3, 2007 5:00 a.m.

    Georgia Southern has found its man.
    Valdosta State’s Chris Hatcher is expected to be named Georgia Southern’s new head football coach at an 11 a.m. press conference today at the Bishop Field House.
    On paper, Hatcher looks like a good fit for the Eagles. He is a Georgia native, a proven winner and by all accounts an affable individual.
Hatcher has made a name for himself in seven outstanding seasons with the Blazers which included a 2004 Division II national championship – VSU’s first. He will become Georgia Southern’s sixth full-time head coach.
    The courtship was speedy, with the official announcement of Hatcher’s hire coming just three days after Brian VanGorder abruptly left Tuesday to become Bobby Petrino’s linebackers coach for the Atlanta Falcons. VanGorder was with the Eagles just one season.
    GSU officials first requested to speak with Hatcher on Tuesday and reportedly interviewed him on Wednesday. Both Georgia Southern and Hatcher haven’t commented since the brief search began.
    The Eagles’ new coach sports the third-best winning percentage in the nation at any level - an .842 mark thanks to a 76-12 overall record since taking the head job of his alma mater in 2000. At Valdosta, Hatcher coached rising senior Davis Russell, the grandson of late GSU coaching legend Erk Russell. Hatcher reportedly informed the Blazers of his departure during a team meeting Thursday afternoon, and no VSU players were available to comment.
    Now that the Eagles have settled on a coach, the next big question is — what direction the team will take offensively? GSU athletic director Sam Baker indicated the Eagles won’t return to their famed triple option VanGorder ditched in favor of a pro-style set, but said the new coach could run the offensive style of his choice.
    Under Hatcher, a former quarterback, the Blazers run a prolific version of a spread option, frequently operating out of the shotgun and lining up with multiple receivers. Last year VSU passed for a total of 2,830 yards and ran for 1,068 while churning out nearly 390 total yards a game.

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