SHREVEPORT, La. -- Grambling State has settled on its new
Savannah State's Carlton Hardy will replace third-year coach
James "Sapp" Randall, whose contract was not renewed last month
after the team finished 6-35 -- the worst overall record in the
Southwestern Athletic Conference.
GSU athletic director Troy Mathieu on Monday confirmed Hardy's
hiring, which will be officially announced Tuesday.
"Carlton Hardy is mature, and he has links to the school,"
Hardy was a three-year letterman from 1989-91 under former
Grambling baseball coaching legend Wilbert Ellis. He becomes the
fourth person to lead Grambling's baseball team.
Savannah was Hardy's first Division I head coaching experience,
but he had a track record of success in lower divisions -- including
stints at Olivet College in Michigan and Talladega College in
Alabama. At Savannah last season, Hardy finished 30-19, including
an impressive 10-2 win over Florida State.
"To beat my good friend Mike Martin, that says a lot," said
Ellis, who retired in 2003 after 43 seasons as a GSU assistant then
head coach. "Mike is one of the top coaches in the country. That
speaks well for Carlton."
Hardy was all-conference in 1990-91 as a third baseman for
Ellis. The Los Angeles native returned after a brief stint in the
majors with the Philadelphia Phillies to complete a 1993 bachelor's
degree and a 1995 master's degree at Grambling.
Hardy spent six seasons at Olivet, a once-struggling Division
III program. In 2002, he led the team to its first non-losing
season since 1995, then a year later to a winning record and second
place in its conference. Hardy, who had a career mark at Olivet of
105-123, also served as an assistant football coach.
While at Talladega College, he led the program to 34 wins in
1999 -- the most in school history. That season included a trip to
the NAIA sectional tournament and runner-up honors for coach of the
year in the Midwest Region.
Grambling offered Hardy the job on Friday, Mathieu said, and he
accepted it later that day. He's expected to assume his new role on
Randall, himself an assistant to Ellis for 13 seasons, managed a
29-80 mark after succeeding Ellis in 2004.