Longtime Memorial High School teacher Tom Hardin retired Friday after heading up the school’s forensics team in a decade of dominance.

Hardin, an English teacher, has coached the school’s extracurricular, public speaking and presentation program since 2000. In his last year as coach, Memorials’s juggernaut forensics team won its 10th consecutive state championship, totaling 14 titles during Hardin’s tenure.

On May 6, Hardin was inducted into the Wisconsin Forensic Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame and received the William Hintz Memorial Award for Coaching Excellence.

The Madison City Council honored the Spartan forensics team at its Tuesday meeting, as well as Hardin on his retirement.

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“We love coming here and accepting these awards,” Hardin said, noting that longtime co-coach Tim Scheffler will be taking over as coach next year.

“Tim plans on bringing another state championship to Memorial High School,” Hardin said.

Along with the forensics team, Hardin had been involved in the school’s drama and debate programs.

Growing up in Peoria, Illinois, Hardin took a liking to drama and considered a career in acting. After joining the Navy, he studied at UW-Madison and taught at Wisconsin and Illinois schools before starting at Memorial in 1999.

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