CONCORD – Brad Hinson, both literally and figuratively, has found a new home.
Hinson -- who over the past 10 months has been the athletics director at Cox Mill, West Cabarrus, Cary Green Hope and (once again) Cox Mill -- announced Monday that he’ll be the new AD at Mount Pleasant High School.
Over the past four years, the Mount Pleasant athletics department has been led by Chris Shinn, who has accepted a position as the AD at Winkler Middle School in Concord.
Although he’s lived in Harrisburg for several years, Hinson definitely took the circuitous route to Mount Pleasant.
Hinson took over as Cox Mill’s AD in 2014, and last summer he accepted the job as the first AD at the county’s newest school, West Cabarrus, which initially was to open in August 2019. West Cabarrus’ opening, though, was pushed back a year, and Hinson’s stay at Cox Mill was going to be longer.
Until he accepted a position as the AD at Cary’s Green Hope High this past March.
Hinson was prepared to head to the Triangle to get to work, but then he and his wife, Lauren, talked about things. Shortly after spring break, he chose to stay at Cox Mill. The Hinsons even decided to move out of their townhouse in Harrisburg, where they also own a dance studio, and bought a house – in Mount Pleasant.
A short time later, the Mount Pleasant AD job was available. And, well, Hinson’s odyssey finally had the perfect ending.
“It’s been a soap opera the last couple months, but things work out in crazy ways,” he said with a smile. “After thinking about some things and talking with my wife about some personal things – not personal in a bad way – it just came down to the fact that Cabarrus County’s home. It’s just a place I could see myself spending the rest of my career.
“I was planning on staying at Cox Mill, but then the Mount Pleasant gig opened up. It’s somewhere that’s always enticed me. It’s a small community, a community-based school, and we bought a house out there a couple months ago. We close next week. It’s exciting.”
One of the things Hinson said factored into his decision was his young daughter, Mary-Creighton.
“I’ve got a 4-year-old, and the last thing I want to do is get her started in school somewhere and then have to transfer somewhere else,” he said. “So she gets to get acclimated to a good place at an early age.”
Hinson, though, makes it clear that taking over the Mount Pleasant athletics department wasn’t simply one of convenience. Although he took Cox Mill sports to new heights in a variety of capacities, making things easier for coaches and athletes as the Chargers won state titles in multiple sports and climbed the ladder in the Wachovia Cup standings, Hinson said Mount Pleasant is a place he definitely wanted to be.
“I’m excited,” Hinson said of guiding athletics for the Class 2A program. “Cox Mill’s awesome – the community, the coaches, the faculty, the staff, the administration. “It’s a new challenge, a different challenge. Cox Mill’s awesome – the community, the coaches, the faculty, the staff, the administration. But I really like the opportunity at Mount Pleasant.
“I’m halfway through my career. I’ve got 15 years left, and I could see myself being there the next 15 years, Lord willing.”
During his time at Cox Mill, Hinson developed a reputation for being a great strategist for highlighting the school’s teams and athletes. He quickly helped establish the Cox Mill “brand,” with #MillMentality becoming a popular social media hashtag and a mantra in the Charger community.
He wants to bring the same energy to Mount Pleasant’s Tigers.
“I’m just trying to push the needle to the next level and make Mount Pleasant one of the best,” Hinson said. “I’m not saying it’s not good right now; Chris did a great job. But I just want to do whatever I can to make it as good as it can be.
“I’m a blue-collar guy, so I’m going to roll my sleeves back and get to work. I’m going to give them all I’ve got. I’m going to pour my heart and soul into Mount Pleasant. I want to build a brand and get it out in the community. I want to have people live by Tiger Pride day-by-day.”
Hinson smiled again as he spoke of closing out a wild, 10-month journey to the job he feels is the perfect fit. He’s excited about having another opportunity to build something special, and his new house is only going to be a few blocks from one of his best friends in the world, former Cox Mill boys basketball coach Jody Barbee.
“I know it’s been a crazy last couple months with Green Hope and staying at Cox Mill and now going to Mount Pleasant,” he said. “But I’m happy.”