When Frederick Hurt was announced as West Forsyth High’s boys basketball coach last spring, the name likely rang a bell for hoops fans in the county — especially at Forsyth Central, where the Lady Bulldogs were led on the hardwood by Angela Hurt.
It’s no coincidence. While they coach at separate schools, the two Hurts uniquely bond the Wolverines and Bulldogs by marriage.
This season was a tough one on the floor for both of them — West went 5-22, Central just 1-23. But both coaches know a thing or two about building from the ground up and staying patient. Angela, a former Georgia State player, took over Alpharetta’s program when the school opened in 2004 and led the Lady Raiders to a 2012 region title and three state tournament appearances; Frederick turned the boy's team into a state semifinalist in 2012, quarterfinalist in 2015 and won region titles in 2014 and 2015.
Yes, their success at Alpharetta was harmonious — it was also an improbable one-two combination to begin with.
Before the duo shared nearby offices, got married, had kids and moved to Forsyth County five years ago, they were complete strangers at an Indiana Jones-themed interactive show at Disney World.
Before that show, they were two coaches who had trouble focusing on anything but basketball.
“You could say I was married to the game of basketball,” Frederick said. “We both were, really.”
Angela followed: “I always used to tell people the only way I’d find someone is if they were between the bleachers. Even then I’m usually too busy for stuff like that,” she laughed.
Angela was in her third season with the Lady Raiders as head coach when the team took the trip to Disney World for a basketball tournament; the benefit of the trip was the ability to use some free time to take in some of the parks. Her team, despite being young and a few more years removed from being a contender, had taken a liking to her and, as Angela admits, an interest in her love life.
So when the players started talking basketball back and forth while waiting for the Indiana Jones show to begin, one of Angela’s players took an opportunity to find out the availability of Frederick. The window was only opened because Angela had volunteered to participate in the show, leaving her seat temporarily.
After the event, Angela raced to catch up to some players who took off through the crowd. They had chased down Frederick to get his number.
“They said, ‘Coach, he was single,'” Angela said. “Next thing I know I’m embarrassed, just trying to get the girls to move on, but I figured well, since I’m there I might as well introduce myself. We found out we were in the same tournament and kept in touch.”
The match was made.
From then on, the two coaches spent time driving to and from the north Atlanta area and Lexington, North Carolina, where Frederick coached at North Davidson High School.
“We’d swap full rides one way or the other. Met at a bunch of different places. We’d make sure to go to the same coaching clinics in the offseason so we could see each other,” Frederick said.
In just a year’s time, the basketball coaching couple decided to take a serious step in their relationship, so Frederick took a leap of faith, resigning from his position at North Davidson and moving to the north Atlanta suburbs.
“The thing is, I didn’t have a job right away. I had to search far and wide for one,” Frederick said.
Coincidentally, a position opened at Alpharetta, where Angela was already coaching, so Frederick took up a position as a special education social studies teacher. That position did not include coaching. There were questions about how much longer he’d spend off the court.
However, within a year, Hurt parlayed himself a position with the boys' basketball program. He coached eight seasons, with great success, while also marrying Angela and having two children — Hartley, now 5, and Tatum, about to turn 2.
The life of the Hurts is now as harmonious as one would think. Both are balancing life as parents as well as trying to bring programs in Forsyth County to prominence.
“It’s busy,” Angela said. “One of us will usually have a time window to pick up the kids, the other will be coaching practice. Hartley has pretty much been in a gym her entire life so far. It’s a challenge, but it’s fun.”
Angela also contends that basketball talk is few and far between when they get home.
“It becomes family time at that point,” she said. “Before we had kids we’d definitely come home and bounce things back and forth, but it’s really now just about having that time and kind of getting our minds off the game for a while.
“Frederick might be a little different. He was saying the other night about how proud of our team he was, talking about how much we had improved since the start of the year.”
It is true that Frederick will put time into the other program, as well.
“There was a game when we were dating, it was their last home game of the season and on a Saturday. We didn’t have Saturday games in North Carolina, so I hopped in the car and drove down to surprise her after the contest. She had no idea I was coming.”