Allan Hatcher is no stranger at taking teams to the state basketball tournament.
Taking teams to the state tournament, whether in the Mountain State or the Bluegrass State, have become commonplace for Hatcher.
Hatcher had his first stint as a head basketball coach at Williamson High School. He built the program back to one of the state’s best and he took two teams to the state tournament as the head mentor of the Wolfpack.
His 1981 Williamson team went undefeated in the regular season and through the first round of the tournament until they were upset by a good Princeton Tiger team led by Jimmy Miller, who went on to star in the ACC at Virginia, in the Class AAA finals in Charleston. (They had beaten the Tigers twice during the regular season.)
He then took the 1983 Wolfpack team back to the Civic Center where he won the Class AA title. That team was led by Mark Cline, who had been a sophomore on the 1981 squad. The other starters on the historic team were 6’8” Kenny Schwartz at center, 6’6” Bobby Fletcher at forward, Cline who was 6’7” and two lightning- quick guards in Curtis Townes and Julius “Boo Boo” Hatcher.
After leaving Williamson and becoming a nomad in the coaching ranks in the state of Kentucky, Hatcher came back to his home county of Logan to take over the program at Chapmanville. The Tigers are now headed to the state tournament this week for the first time in school history.
Hatcher started out as an assistant coach at his alma mater at Logan High School learning from Willie Akers. He then took over the Wolfpack program after longtime coach George Ritchie resigned in the late 1970s.
After he left Williamson, Hatcher ended up at Marshall County, Ky. where he took that school to the Sweet 16 for the first time in history.
He later had a stint as an assistant coach at Western Kentucky and Morehead State. He also coached at Graves County, Ky. and Perry County Central, Ky. before returning to the Mountain State.
On his resume he took Williamson to the state tournament twice, Marshall County four times, Graves County six times, Perry Central once (the first time for that Hazard County school too) and now Chapmanville Regional.
He and his son Mark, who is the head coach at Logan, are the only father and son that have both coached state championship teams in West Virginia.
There is no doubt Hatcher is a gym rat. He loves basketball and it shows through his continued success.
Taking the Chapmanville Tigers (20-5) to the state tournament for the first time has that community very excited.
They won close games against arch rival Scott (54-53) in the sectional finals and Nicholas County in the co-finals of the regional (44-41) on a last second shot by Josh Butcher.
It’s good to see Allan Hatcher still having so much success after 35 years of coaching. It would be great to see the Logan County school win up in Charleston this week. That might not happen, but the Tiger fans are thrilled they are finally invited to the dance.
And who knows – Cinderella may have a couple of more miracles before their season comes to an end.
(Kyle Lovern is the Sports Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242, ext. 33 or Twitter @KyleLovern)