Former Rutherford football coach Steve Hardin passes away

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) Bay County high school football legend Steve Hardin passed away Wednesday morning in the Jacksonville area after battling serious health issues the past few years.

Former Rutherford coach Steve Hardin has passed away

Hardin came to Rutherford late in 1990 after a strong run at Tallahassee Lincoln, taking over a program that had lost 21 straight games. In his first season (1991), he led the Rams to a district title and the first of tne playoff berths in 14 seasons. In 1997 and 1998, RHS made it to the 5A state championship game.

Hardin's overall record at Rutherford was 122-43.

Jason Griffin, now the head coach at Bozeman, was a senior quarterback in Hardin's first year with the Rams.

"Coach Hardin did an interview, it might have been with [sports director Scott Rossman], where in that interview, one of the questions he was asked was, 'when do you guys think you will win a game?'" Griffin recalled. "Coach Hardin's reply was, 'it's not when we're gonna win a game, it's how many!' And I think that was sort of a defining moment for Rutherford, for Springfield, and for me, and my life. So whenever I think about Coach, that one image of him saying, 'it's not when we're gonna win, but how many,' that's the thing that always pops into my mind."

Hardin was 69.

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