Jim Lower, Principal at St. Charles Preparatory School in Columbus, recently announced the hiring of Deke Hocker as the school’s new varsity football coach. Hocker takes over for Bob Jacoby, who resigned in December after coaching St. Charles for the past two seasons.
“St. Charles is very excited about welcoming Deke Hocker to our school family,” Principal Lower said. “We anticipate that he will have an immediate impact on our football program and on our greater St. Charles community as well.”
Hocker has coached at both the college and high school levels. He was the wide receiver’s coach under Jack Harbaugh, father of Jim and John Harbaugh, at Western Kentucky University from 2000 to 2002. While at Western Kentucky University, Hocker helped lead the team to a perfect record in the Ohio Valley Conference and to the NCAA playoffs. From 2003 to 2006, Hocker was the quarterbacks coach, passing game coordinator, and special teams coordinator at his alma mater, Otterbein University. During those seasons Otterbein had the top-rated passing offense in the Ohio Athletic Conference.
Hocker was a four-year football letterman at Otterbein University, where he started two years as defensive back and two years as quarterback. While at Otterbein, Hocker was the recipient of The Harry Ewing Outstanding Football Leadership Award, named after the renowned former head football coach at Otterbein and given to the player who displays outstanding leadership qualities on and off the field.
Most recently, Hocker was the offensive coordinator for Buckeye Valley High School where he helped lead the Barons to a record of 7-3 last season. Buckeye Valley set a single-season rushing record for the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference and saw its quarterback, running back, and multiple receivers earn first team all-conference recognition.
Hocker was interviewed by a selection committee led by St. Charles Athletic Director Dave Lawler and comprised of parents, teachers, and alumni. According to Lawler, a 1980 graduate of St. Charles, “The committee was impressed by Deke’s leadership qualities, communication skills, and innovative coaching ideas. Deke is a coach, and more importantly a person, that the players, parents, and the St. Charles community can get excited about.”
Currently, Hocker is the Assistant Principal and Dean of Students at St. Paul School in Westerville. “My family and I are honored, blessed and deeply appreciate this opportunity,” Hocker said about being named the St. Charles head football coach. “St. Charles is a special place. My objective for the St. Charles football team is to utilize the talent of the players, be opportunistic on offense, and get the football to a lot of players through multiple sets.”
“We are pleased to have Coach Hocker and confident he will be a positive addition to the St. Charles family,” Lawler said.