Arkansas Hall of Fame Head Coach Lee Hardman announced Tuesday that he is retiring as the athletic director and head football coach at Dollarway High School.
Hardman wraps up his head coaching career at Dollarway with an overall record of 117-37-1. This past season the Cardinals were win-less, and in 2016, the year Hardman came out of retirement, the Cardinals won just one game.
In the past two years, Hardman has suffered 17 of his 37 all-time losses.
It all began for Hardman at Dollarway Junior High School.
From there, he took over the head position at Dollarway High School in 1982.
Under Hardman's direction from 1982-1992, the Cardinals posted a record of 116-20-1. Hardman won four state championships in the last five years of his first stint at Dollarway.
In 1989, 1990, and 1992, the Cardinals went undefeated. From 1988 to the end of the 1991 season, the Cardinals rode a 51-game winning streak under Hardman.
Hardman has been instrumental in a number of teenagers’ lives over the years.
He coached Jackie Harris and Carl Kidd, who went on to have lengthy professional careers, among a number of others.
Most notably, Hardman built a tradition, legacy, and brought a sense of pride to the Dollarway community with the game of football, those close to the program agree.
In 1992, just as the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff was hit with the death penalty by the NAIA, Hardman made the tough decision to leave Dollarway and go crosstown to help resurrect the Golden Lions football program.
Hardman went on to spend 12 seasons as the head coach of the Golden Lions, and he helped propel them into NCAA Division I status in 1997.
At UAPB, Hardman tallied a total record of 72-58, and his final season with the Golden Lions was in 2004.
In 2013, Hardman decided to take on a new trade at his old stomping grounds by becoming the athletic director at Dollarway.
In Hardman's first year as the AD, the Cardinals football team won 13 games and a conference championship. The Cardinals followed up with their third consecutive conference championship in 2014.
After the 2015 season, Cortez Lee, the former Dollarway head coach, decided to move on, so that left a vacancy. The Hall of Famer Hardman stepped in, and although they didn't win much in 2016 and 2017, he's helped numerous teenage boys on their transition into manhood.