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Dan Hartman new head man for Hinsdale Central football

HINSDALE – Hinsdale Central's football program has a new leader at the helm.

Seven weeks after the position became open, Dan Hartman was officially named the Red Devils' new head coach Monday at a meeting of the District 86 Board of Education. Hartman replaces Rich Tarka, who was relieved of his coaching duties on March 24.

"I think football-wise, he really impressed our committee," Hinsdale Central athletic director Dan Jones said. "He came in with a strategic plan for our entire program. He was very organized with his plan for the program, from the freshmen team all the way to varsity, and he had a plan for our coaches, players, parents and boosters."

Jones was part of a 10-member committee that was involved in the hiring process. Gary Gamen and Tom Dorrance, assistant coaches under Tarka, boys basketball coach Nick Latorre, faculty members Janelle Marconi and Kelly Watson, former AD and head football coach Ken Schreiner, and community members Jeff Curran, Brian Owens and Randy Pyle were also part of the committee.

Jones said over 40 people applied for the job. The committee picked seven candidates to interview in person, and Hartman was one of two finalists brought back for a final interview.

Hartman comes to Central after spending three years as the head coach at Evergreen Park. During his tenure, the Mustangs went 27-9 and made the playoffs all three seasons. Last fall, the team won its first conference title and finished the season 10-1. Central went 5-5 despite a rash of injuries last season.

At Central, Hartman will be a social studies teacher in addition to his duties as football coach.

"Teaching is my love and football is my passion," Hartman said in a statement from D-86. "My philosophy is that it is my job as a teacher and coach to help each student reach his or her full potential in the classroom and on the field.

"My vision is to lead Hinsdale Central to success not only on the football field by competing for state championships, but also off the field by helping student-athletes develop life-long skills … they can utilize in their respective futures."

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