ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. - A new era at Arroyo Grande High School is set to begin. Mike Hartman has been named new head football coach today, replacing Tom Goossen, who announced his retirement last month.
“It's exciting,” said Hartman. “I'm fired up. This is going to be a great job and I'm really looking forward to it, continuing the legacy put forth by legends like Jon Huss and Tom Goossen.”
The former St. Joseph head coach has spent the past five years as an assistant with the Eagles, including the last three as defensive coordinator.
“Mike Hartman is a man of integrity and he will be a great role model for the young men at AGHS,” said principal Conan Bowers in a statement. “He has a tremendous amount of football knowledge and Mike is innovative. As the leader of our coaching staff, Mike will see to it that our players and coaches are always prepared for Friday nights. Mike Hartman will continue the tradition of talented coaches at AGHS and at the end of the day, he will make The 5 Cities community very proud.”
The hiring has also received a big thumbs up from the man who previously held the job for the past 10 years.
“They made a great decision,” said Goossen. “Mike is hard working, dedicated, great with kids, and positive for our school.”
Hartman takes over one of the top programs on the Central Coast. Since 1987, the Eagles have won five CIF-Southern Section titles, most recently in 2011. The team has won the Pac-5 league champion for the past three seasons.
“It's a challenge and we're up for the challenge,” Hartman said. “Looking forward to it. The community has certain expectations for us and we're going to meet or exceed them.”
Prior to his arrival as an assistant with Arroyo Grande, Hartman coached at St. Joseph from 1999-2011. He first served as an assistant for Lance Fauria and Barney Eames before he was promoted to head coach after the 2004 season.
He led the Knights for seven years, earning an overall record of 53-28. He also won three Los Padres League titles in 2005, 2008 and 2009.
Hartman believes he can use his experience at St. Joseph, combined with his time as an assistant with Arroyo Grande as the foundation for future success.
“I'm definitely a better coach than I was five years ago,” said Hartman. “Whenever you get to coach on a staff of this caliber, it forces you to defend your positions and look at different things and I know I've grown.”
As he looks to the future, Hartman understands the demands of a position that carries perhaps more weight than with other area programs.
“I'm humbly taking over the expectations of this community and I hope that I can live up to the standards of the men that have gone before me and I believe with the help of my assistants and the young men in this program we can definitely do that.”
Dave Alley spoke with Hartman this afternoon and will have more tonight on KCOY 12 Central Coast News at 6 p.m.