At the All Sports Banquet for Ware County High School in May of 1976, Hank was named Ware’s Most Outstanding Athlete. His achievements which culminated in this award are as follows: He was awarded the outstanding offensive lineman trophy in football, his baseball exploits garnered him the Most Valuable Player Award and honors for the highest batting average on the team. He was also the manager of the girls’ basketball team and he maintained grades in the 90’s. The most outstanding Athlete award was presented by first year Gator coach Bruce Bennett who is a member of the Hall of Fame himself.
Hank earned a scholarship to Georgia College. Four years later, right out of college, he started coaching at Swainsboro. He retired as coach of the Tigers after the 2001 season, his 20th year as the head coach. He leaves an eviable record of 378 wins 149 losses and one tie. Nineteen of his 20 years the Tigers advanced to the state playoffs. Swainsboro played in two state championship games losing to Lovett in 1990 and Gainesville in 2001.
His teams won the region championship eight times and The Augusta Chronicle named him their baseball Coach of the Year in 2001.
Hank was quoted as saying “After all these years the main thing I have learned is that we are here to teach.” His replacement, Rusty Brown, who was on Hank’s first Swainsboro team in 1982 said, “the thing I learned from coach Aldridge is that winning is good, but it’s not everything.” With school kids, “it’s not just about winning and losing, it’s the way they conduct themselves on and off the field.”
He not only taught the fundamentals of the game but also taught by his personal example of integrity in all situations.
Hank was inducted into the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame in Atlanta on January 20, 2007.
He is married and has a daughter and son.