Greg Hatfield knew the Battlefield head football coaching position was worth considering anytime it came open.
The success rate. The facilities. The support. The size. All made the job attractive.
But with five children high school-aged or younger, Hatfield held off applying until he thought his family was in a better position to manage a move to another school.
So when the Battlefield job opened up again this year after Scott Girolmo accepted the same position at Prince George High School, Hatfield was ready to move forward. Battlefield hired Hatfield as its fourth head football coach since the school opened in 2004.
“The timing was just right now,” Hatfield said.
Hatfield is good friends with Mark Cox. Cox was the Bobcats’ first head coach. He stepped down after the 2014 season before returning in 2017.
In 13 years at Battlefield, Cox went 97-45 and won the Group AAA Division 6 state title in 2010. He also helped the Bobcats begin a run of 11 consecutive playoff appearances, a Prince William County record. Hatfield and Cox talked about the Battlefield position the first time Cox left, but Hatfield never pursued anything beyond that.
Hatfield needed the ideal job to leave Eastern View in Culpeper. As the school’s only head coach since it opened in 2008, Hatfield has had only one losing season (4-6, 2012). In 13 seasons, Hatfield went 109-36. His teams reached the postseason eight times, including seven straight from 2013-19.
“There’s no way I’m leaving Eastern View if I didn’t feel like Battlefield was a destination job,” Hatfield said.
Hatfield will provide some long-term stability for a program that’s had recent coaching turnover. After Cox stepped down the first time following the 2015 season, Jared Van Acker coached for two seasons before Battlefield dismissed him. Cox then came back for two more seasons before retiring for good. Girolmo came in and led the program for two more seasons. Hatfield is Battlefield’s fourth head coach since 2016.
“I want to retire at Battlefield,” Hatfield said.
Battlefield activities director Jason Koch said the Battlefield job drew over 30 candidates, but Hatfield stood out because of his track record as well as his overall demeanor.
“I would say he’s one of the top five coaches in the state,” Koch added. “I think he’s one of the best. He just blew us away with the quality of person he is. He’s upbeat and positive. He's someone who is going to make a good impact on the kids.”
Battlefield is Prince William’s largest high school with just over 2,900 students. However, the opening of Gainesville High School in the fall will pull students from Battlefield as well as from Patriot and Unity Reed.
Before coaching Eastern View, Hatfield was head coach at Fauquier High School from 2005-07 and at Central-Woodstock, where he was named the Associated Press’ 2003 Group A coach of the year after leading the Falcons to a 9-2 record and a spot in the playoffs after going 1-9 the year before.
He led Fauquier to an 8-3 record and a spot in the playoffs his final season before moving to Eastern View.
“He gets kids to buy into what he does and wins wherever he’s gone,” Koch said.