In the fall of 2014 Jack Hatem returns for his fifth season as the head football coach at Denison University.
In four seasons as the head coach at Denison, Hatem has compiled a record of 20-20 while going 16-12 in North Coast Athletic Conference play. Last season the Big Red went 7-3, marking the best season at Denison since 1986. Seven players were named to the All-NCAC squad, led by first-team left tackle, Matt Cochran. After going 6-3 in conference play, Denison placed fourth in the final conference standings.
Denison's 7-3 season came after a 4-6 campaign in 2012. Senior running back Sam Fioroni earned his second-straight first-team all-conference award after winning his second conference rushing crown. Fioroni left Denison as the school's career leader in all-purpose yards and is fourth in rushing with 2,916 yards. Senior quarterback Max Paulus set the school mark for passing yards, touchdown passes and completions. At the conclusion of the season he was one of two quarterbacks selected to play in the Ohio vs. Michigan College Football Senior Bowl.
In 2011 Hatem guided the Big Red to a 5-5 record and a 4-2 mark in the NCAC that resulted in a third-place finish in the league standings. At the conclusion of the season, seven Denison players were named to the All-NCAC squad highlighted by first-team selections Joe Romanowski and Fioroni. 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, toped the North, 21-7 at Columbus Crew Stadium.
Hatem became Denison's 20th head coach in the 121-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. In his first season as head coach in 2010 he led DU to a 4-6 record.
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.