Tom Harper was recently named the new head football coach and
athletic director at Hickory High School.
Harper, 47, was approved by the Board of Education Feb. 27.
"I believe that if you instill in our young people the values of
discipline, loyalty, hard work, character, passion and
integrity...if you make that the foundation and focal point of your
program, then the winning will take care of itself," Harper said in
Harper will serve as the athletic director and head football
coach. In addition, he will coordinate field maintenance, oversee
after-school weight training and teach physical education.
Harper held the same post at Alexander Central High in Alexander
His father, Tom Harper Sr., served as a high school and college
football coach for more than 30 years, with stints at UNC, Clemson,
Virginia Tech, Kentucky, Oklahoma State, Wake Forest and the World
Tom Harper Jr. played football at Lees McRae Junior College. He
earned All-Conference and All-Region honors and was named to the
All-American Second Team.
Harper later competed at Middle Tennessee State University. He
finished his degree at Catawba College.
Harper's coaching tenure has included South Rowan High, Catawba
College, Freedom High, East Burke High and Alexander Central High.
He also created the CARE Squad, a program that pairs high school
athletes with elementary school students.
Harper is a member of the Board of Directors for the N.C.
Coaches Association and the N.C. Athletic Directors
He was a member of the West coaching staff for the N.C. Coaches
Association East-West All-Star Football Game in 2011 and was named
the Carolina Panthers' Coach of the Year in 2009.
He has been named the Northwestern 3A/4A Football Coach of the
Year, received the N.C. High School Athletic Association Regional
Citation Award and won the NCHSAA "Eight Who Make a Difference"