Coach’s Corner: Christopher Hargrove, SUSLA Football


SHREVEPORT, La (KMSS/KTAL) – Just one year ago, Christopher Hargrove was recovering from a heart attack. Now, he’s preparing for the upcoming football season as the Head Football Coach at Southern University Shreveport. Hargrove spoke with NBC6’s Sam Rothman as he begins a job that he calls “a dream come true.”

Sam Rothman: “Take me through the process. How did this opportunity come about? How did you get to the point where you’re sitting in this chair talking to me right now?”

Christopher Hargrove: “It’s amazing, actually. A few weeks ago I was sitting at home, actually just got through bowling with my family, and a former player I coached that’s a head coach in the Arizona JUCO’s right now. He called to get a game with Coach Mooney, and he was also looking for a head coach at the same time. So he talked to him about it, and it didn’t happen and he’s like, ‘Hey, I got somebody for you.’ He said Coach Hargrove. I coached him at Blinn Junior College, years ago. And so, Coach Mooney and I exchanged information, and I actually sent my resume to him and then the next thing I know the next day I’m getting a phone call. This year has been a difficult year for me. I had had a heart attack back in July. I was heading out to Arizona and we didn’t get the play in Arizona, because the fields were shut down due to COVID-19. And so I stayed at home, had a heart attack on July 10 like I said, and then got my health together, got everything together, got cleared from the doctor. Next thing I know, everything just started rolling.”

Sam Rothman: “Just about a year ago you did have a heart attack, and you had to recover from that. If you take yourself back to that time, could you have ever imagined that just one year later you would be sitting here right now in this moment?”

Christopher Hargrove: “No I would not to be honest with you. You know, throughout the course of this time, I’ve been interviewing for high school jobs and stuff like that and every door got shut., I mean it was head coaching jobs too. So, every door got shut and now all sudden you look up here a year later you still getting a chance to become a college head coach, which has been my dream.”

Sam Rothman: “As you join SUSLA here, what type of coach are you and what do you really bring to the table?

Christopher Hargrove: “The type of coach I am is I’m a players coach. And one thing I want to make sure that I’m also starting discipline as well. And so I think that at the end of the day, I’m like a father. I want to be the father figure to them, and him as a true father figure in the house, you have your discipline side, and you have your loving side. To think about it for years, I have 24 years of experience on every level, from middle school all the way to the division one level. The experience that I’ve picked up, has been great, which I can bring to the table. We’re mixing everything in every place I’ve been. I think I bring a different test to it. And I also bring the energy in. I’m like the energizer bunny. I like to bounce around and get things going, but I’m also the type of coach to teach. I’m also a teacher at the end of the day.”

Sam Rothman: “Coming here to SUSLA, coaching the Jags, what are you most excited about?

Christopher Hargrove: “I’m excited about everything, realistically. I’m going to be honest with you. The players, the community, the support we get from the university right now is unbelievable. And I’m excited about getting outside the community and getting the community excited. You know I’m here now for this, for the university but also for the community.”

Sam Rothman: “What do you think those emotions are going to be for you personally when you take the field in your first game?”

Christopher Hargrove: “It’s going to be, I’m still trying to figure it out, especially with playing Blinn Junior College in Brenham. Right now, you know obviously I have the mentality that okay I want to go out here and play our best game. We want to get the win, but I know it’s gonna be some emotions. It really is. I’m telling you right now I’m trying to hold in my emotions now just thinking about it. Plus family’s gonna be there, people know about it, coaches I know that’s already told me they’re going to be there. I know I got a lot of love and support coming out there and we praying on a great day, great weather and everything. It’s a seven o’clock kickoff so hopefully everybody can come out and we’re gonna have a good game. I’m telling you right now, I’m excited. I’m excited. We’ll see how everything unfolds because I don’t want to start talking too much because if things don’t go the way I want, I’m going to be honest with you. I want our young men to be prepared to play the best game because if we can start the season off on the right foot, it’ll carry over each week.”

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