Don Hogan, a longtime assistant under Coastal Carolina men’s basketball coach Cliff Ellis, has resigned from the program to become a district high school athletic director in Florida.
Hogan said he wasn’t necessarily looking for a way out of coaching, but the opportunity to be the director of athletics for the Lake County School District sort of found him and the more he considered it, the more the timing felt right.
He was offered the job Monday and the Chanticleers formally announced his resignation Thursday as the team began its exhibition trip to Cuba.
“I’ve been an assistant athletic director both at Clemson and also at West Florida and I’ve got that experience there, and I actually have some people I know in that county that kind of made me aware of the situation,” Hogan said in a phone interview. “I didn’t really pursue it per se. They made me aware of it and it just seemed to make a lot of sense to me. To go back to Florida is good move toward my retirement. I don’t know that I was looking to give up coaching right now, but it was a great opportunity that presented itself.”
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Hogan spent six seasons at Coastal Carolina as Ellis’ associate head coach, helping the program reach back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances the last two seasons – just the third and fourth tournament berths ever for the Chanticleers.
Hogan was actually recruited by Ellis and played for him at South Alabama before later working under Ellis as an assistant coach at Clemson. He also worked as an assistant at Davidson and was the head coach at West Florida for 16 years, compiling 239 wins and a .546 winning percentage.
I don’t know that I was looking to give up coaching right now, but it was a great opportunity that presented itself.
“I am very happy for Don as he starts this next journey,” Ellis said in a statement released by the university. “I know Don has wanted to enter the administration side of athletics for some time and I am glad he is getting that opportunity.
“Don was one of the first players I recruited when I was starting my coaching career at South Alabama and he has been a large part of the numerous success we have had over the years. I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”
Hogan was heavily involved in the Chants’ recruiting efforts and his position likely won’t be addressed until Ellis and the team return from Cuba later this month.
As for Hogan’s decision, he said the communication for the Lake County School District position spanned most of the summer, giving him enough time to fully weigh his options.
Ultimately, he was drawn by the opportunity to return to Florida, which he considers home, and to have a more normal schedule and more opportunities to visit family during the holidays that would otherwise fall during basketball season.
“I really kept [Coach Ellis] in the loop. I think it caught him a little bit by surprise because a lot of people go out of coaching kicking and screaming and a lot of times that decision is made for you,” Hogan said. “… I just felt like I was personally missing out on some things and wanted to have more time for family, Thanksgivings and Christmases. I don’t remember the last time I had a regular Christmas or Thanksgiving. …
“I felt a very strong pull to be a better husband, father, grandfather, son-in-law, whatever, and those are things that were increasingly on my mind to do. We’ll see how it all works out, but it sure feels right.”
“I can’t thank him enough for the opportunity to come here.”