Reggie Hatchett’s contract was not renewed for a seventh season as Weaver’s boys basketball coach. Hatchett found out the news on Dec. 21.
Hatchett, 42, said he was told by Weaver athletic director Sterling Scanlon via email. Hatchett said only two candidates were interviewed: Shawn Bell, the new coach, and Hatchett.
“I definitely was devastated (last week). I’m still in a state of shock because I didn’t feel like my position was even in jeopardy. I have been one of the most successful coaches over that time period in the state.”
Hatchett, a 1997 Weaver graduate, led the Beavers to the 2015 Class M state championship over Notre Dame-Fairfield in the final. He also helped lead Weaver to the 2014 Class M and 2016 Class LL championship finals, losing to East Catholic and Hillhouse, respectively. He won 121 games in six seasons.
The Hartford Courant first reported the coaching change on Tuesday.
Bell coached at Bulkeley in Hartford the last four seasons and also was the school’s JV coach the four seasons before that. Bell was also the head coach at Leadership Prep Academy (2010-12).
Bell was also previously an assistant coach at Weaver (2002-10), Windsor and Watkinson. He also currently coaches Weaver’s softball and boys and girls cross country varsity teams.
“Since I worked in the building and I coach boys and girls cross country and softball, I figured why not give it a shot,” said Bell, who is a 1988 Weaver graduate and works as a school safety officer.
Scanlon declined to answer specific emailed questions about the hiring process that led to Bell’s appointment.
“We are not allowed to comment on personnel decisions,” Scanlon responded by email. “Every coach in the district must follow the same reapplication process every year and we as a school saw that process through.”
Scanlon did note that Weaver also hired a new girls basketball coach: Kendrick Moore, who coached Windsor for one season two years ago.
Moore was a schoolboy star at Hartford Public, helping lead Public to back-to-back Class LL state championships in 1993 and 1994, both against Danbury in the finals. Moore was named the New Haven Register and Gatorade State Player of the Year in 1994.
Moore also went on to start at both Missouri and Providence before going into collegiate coaching at Hartford, Manhattan and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Moore said he “had no comment right now” about his new job at Weaver. He replaces Melvin Mitchell.
Moore led Windsor to a 24-3 record and the 2019 Class L state semifinals.
Hatchett said he has received plenty of support from the community since the news of his dismissal became public on Tuesday.
“The community is not happy with the decision and may see if something can be done (to change the decision),” Hatchett said. “I don’t have any desire to go to another school. Weaver is where my heart is. I have done well enough since I took over to remain in my position. I’ve put kids in position to go to college, I have been successful on the court and I have made the community better by teaching the young boys to become better men. Because I have done all of those things, I would think that has afforded me the opportunity to stay in that position.”
Weaver will be playing in the Capitol Region Athletic League for the first time after three seasons as an independent. The Beavers previously played in the Central Connecticut Conference.