He’s ready to get back in the game.
Travis Hart, who helped lead LaGrange High to back-to-back state championships in 2003 and 2004, is returning to the game this fall as the head football coach at Dawson Street Christian School, which now makes its home in Newnan.
Hart has previous coaching experience, but he has been concerned with other matters the past few years.
Last year, Hart was found not guilty of three counts of sexual assault against a person in custody.
The trial stemmed from an incident that occurred while Hart was coaching at LaGrange High.
“To be able to come back and coach football is absolutely a blessing. And to go through what I went through, and to be able to come back and coach at any level, it just phenomenal,” Hart said this week during an interview at the Griggs Recreation Center.
Hart was an all-state linebacker at LaGrange High, and he was a part of three state-championship teams, including the 2001 team that won it all.
In 2003 and 2004, Hart was one of the state’s top defensive players, and those two LaGrange teams won 29 straight games after a season-opening loss in 2003.
After playing for awhile in college at Eastern Kentucky, Hart returned to LaGrange, and he joined the football staff and began coaching track and field as well.
During the spring of 2011, Hart’s legal troubles began when he was arrested after having consensual sex with a 16-year-old student on school grounds.
After nearly two years, the situation was finally resolved with the not-guilty verdict.
Now, with that behind him, Hart is excited about the opportunity to start coaching again, and he believes his experiences will help him relate to his players.
“I’ll be able to reach out to players that most coaches can’t reach out to,” Hart said. “I can relate to their experiences, because I have been through some stuff. Some coaches may say well that coach hasn’t been through nothing, he can’t tell me about my experiences. But guess what, I have.”
Hart is hoping to have some familiar faces with him on the coaching staff.
Former Granger Brandon Kelley is already signed up to be his defensive coordinator, and Thad Todd, the starting quarterback on the 2003 and 2004 teams, may also be on the Dawson Street staff.
Vince Sutton, who used to be the head coach at Dawson Street and was an all-state quarterback at LaGrange in the early 80s, will also be helping out.
“I want to take this program to be a first-tier program,” Hart said. “When you think about Dawson Street, I want you think first class, that we do everything the right way. I don’t want to take the job and just half do it. That’s not going to help the kids, and it’s not going to help me.”
Hart added that “it’s not just about winning and losing. You can win every game, and still come out a loser.”
Hart will begin working with the team in July, and the season begins in late August.