In the fall of 2017, Jack Hatem returns for his eighth season as the head football coach at Denison University.
The promotion of Hatem to head coach prior to the 2010 season ushered in a new era of success for Denison football. It's been a gradual uphill trajectory over the last seven seasons as Hatem has compiled a record of 41-29 while going 34-21 in North Coast Athletic Conference play.
In 2016, the Big Red enjoyed a break through campaign, going 8-2 highlighted by the program's first win over Wittenberg since 1989. This came on the heels of a 7-3 campaign in 2015 marking four-straight winning seasons for the first time since 1983-86. T
In 2014, DU went 6-4 highlighted by Dushawn Brown's record-breaking season. The junior became the first wide receiver to be named the NCAC Offensive Player of the Year. He was also named to the Associated Press Little All-America team after catching 83 passes for 1,397 yards and 13 touchdowns. The previous season, the Big Red went 7-3, marking the best season at Denison since 1986.
In the spring of 2012, Hatem and his Denison staff were selected to coach the South team at the third annual Ohio Army National Guard Senior Bowl. On April 13, the South squad, which included DU seniors Ed Hebb and Romanowski, topped the North, 21-7 at Columbus Crew Stadium.
Hatem became Denison's 20th head coach in the 120+ year history of Big Red football in March of 2010. He had spent the previous five seasons at Denison as an assistant coach, serving as defensive coordinator for the final three seasons of that stint.
Prior to coming to Denison, Hatem spent 13 years as a high school football head coach. He also served three seasons as the head baseball coach at his alma mater, The University of Rio Grande. Hatem graduated from Rio Grande in 1982, earning his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education. He also holds a master’s degree in physical education from Ohio University (1992).
A two-time Ohio High School Football Coach of the Year, Hatem brought 25 years of coaching experience and 13 years as a head coach at the high school level to the Denison program. He joined the Denison staff in 2005 and spent two years coaching defensive backs. In 2007 he was promoted to defensive coordinator and from 2007 through 2009 his defense forced 64 turnovers, which was the third most in the NCAC during that span. In 2008 the Big Red posted a 6-4 record, winning five of their final six games of the season. Over the course of that streak, the Denison defense held its opponents to an average of just 12.8 points per game, and for the year, DU’s opponents gained just 333.0 yards of total offense per game, which was the lowest average allowed by a Denison defense since 1995.
A native of Lancaster, Ohio, and a graduate of Fisher Catholic High School, Hatem was named head football coach at Fisher in 1992. Over the course of three seasons, he led the Fighting Irish to a 22-9 record, including the program’s third undefeated season in school history in 1993. That year, Hatem earned his first Ohio High School Coach of the Year recognition and guided his Fisher squad to its first-ever state playoff appearance.
From 1995 to 1997, Hatem served as head football coach at Highland High School in Sparta, Ohio, and in 1998, he took over a struggling New Albany High School football program, quickly turning it into one of the top programs in central Ohio. Hatem was named Ohio High School Football Coach of the Year again in 1999 after guiding New Albany to a 9-1 record, the program’s best season dating to 1966.
In addition to his accomplishments on the football field, Hatem also has had considerable success on the baseball diamond. A former baseball standout at Fisher Catholic, Hatem served as head baseball coach at Rio Grande for three seasons, shortly after his graduation from the college. While he was an assistant football coach at Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus, Hatem also served as head baseball coach there. In 1991, he led Watterson to its second state baseball championship.
Hatem currently resides in the nearby Buckeye Lake region. He has two grown sons, A.J. and Ryan.