The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Feb. 26, 2024

Harting ready to lead Knights program

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

CONVOY — The architect of explosive offenses at Van Wert High School is ready to embark on a new challenge.

Cole Harting was officially hired as Crestview’s new head football coach during a special school board meeting held on Monday. Harting is taking over for James Lautzenheiser, who compiled a 10-11 record in two seasons.

Cole Harting

He said there were two main things that attracted him to the Crestview job.

“First, Crestview has a rich tradition of athletic excellence,” Harting said. “Year in and year out they produce great teams that compete for NWC championships in all sports. Secondly, I won’t have to uproot my family. When most coaches take on head coaching positions, it requires a move, but for this job, I can stay in the Van Wert area close to our family.”

“What most excites me about Crestview is year in and year out, they have athletes that compete at a high level,” he added.

After coaching at Walden Grove High School in Sahuarita, Arizona in 2013 and 2014, Harting was hired as a position coach at Van Wert in 2015, then was named offensive coordinator in 2018. His offenses averaged north of 45 points and nearly 450 yards per game in each of the last three seasons, an amazing feat given the fact that varsity starters often played roughly two quarters per game. In addition, the Cougars advanced to the Division IV regional finals in 2020, 2021 and last season and won the state championship in 2020.

“I’d like to thank coach (Keith) Recker,” Harting said. “He took a chance on me as a position coach, and then took another chance on me as the offensive coordinator. I’ve learned a lot over the years, how to build a program, how to build relationships, how to develop players, how to compete at the highest levels and I believe my past experiences have set me up for this opportunity.”

At Van Wert, his offenses featured a wide open style of play, with a strong passing game and an effective, complimentary running game that added balance.

“The offense will be very similar to what I ran at Van Wert,” Harting stated. “However, just like at Van Wert, what we emphasize will depend on the talent that we have.”

He added the top priorities are to meet the kids and start building relationships with them, finalizing the coaching staff and making sure everyone is on the same page, and finalizing spring and summer schedules.

The Knights will open their 2023 season August 18 at Parkway.

POSTED: 02/07/23 at 4:38 am. FILED UNDER: Sports