Three varsity sports at Darlington School will have new head coaches when the 2019-2020 school year comes around in August the school announced Thursday.
Former Lady Tiger standout Anna Swafford is returning to Darlington to take the reins of the varsity softball team, recent Berry College graduate and Viking swimmer Leigh Hadaway will head up the swim team, and boys’ head basketball coach Bradley Pierson will serve as the private school’s cross country coach.
Swafford, who graduated from Darlington in 2011, has spent the last two seasons as the head softball coach at Mount Pisgah Christian School in Johns Creek where she was also a middle school PE teacher, and the middle school track and field head coach.
Swafford was a four-year starter for the University of Georgia softball team where she completed her collegiate career as seventh overall at UGA in home runs (43), fifth in runs (182), and fifth in stolen bases (75).
She he was a four-year starter for the varsity softball team while at Darlington as well as a member of the track and field team for four years and varsity basketball team for two years.
“We are very excited to have someone with Anna’s experience and enthusiasm to lead our program,” said Eddie Guth, Darlington athletic director, in a release. “She left an incredible mark at Darlington as a student-athlete and I am excited for what she will do as a leader and a coach.”
Hadaway served as swim team captain while at Berry and competed in 11 collegiate swim meets, setting seven personal records. She remained on the Southern Athletic Association Academic Honor Roll throughout her collegiate career and also served as student director for the Berry’s sports information department.
When she joins the Darlington faculty in the fall, Hadaway will also serve as Upper School history teacher.
“I am delighted that Leigh will join our athletic department as our head swim coach,” Guth said. “She brings a positive energy and a wealth of experience as a swimmer and a leader. Her enthusiasm is exciting!”
Pierson, also a Darlington alum, has been the assistant athletic director and head boys’ basketball coach since 2017. He has four years of experience coaching cross country and eight years of experience coaching basketball at the collegiate level.
As a Darlington student, Pierson played basketball for the Tigers and ran track and cross country.
“I am excited to lead the boys’ and girls’ cross country programs,” Pierson said in a release. “Darlington has a long history of successful runners, and I look forward to working with and motivating our current student-athletes to achieve their personal best.”
“I am very excited about Bradley leading our cross country program,” Guth said in a release. “His wealth of knowledge and running experience will help lead our Tigers well. He is a great leader and motivator, and I hope the teams enjoy the experience.”