It didn’t take much convincing by Mesquite head coach Scott Hare to talk his brother, Cory, and father, Steve, to join him as assistant coaches this season.
In fact, it was one of the easier maneuvers of this transition.
“It’s really special,” Scott said. “We’ve been talking about this since we were teenagers, coaching together. We all played but we knew we would get into coaching (together).”
Scott spent the last three years as the athletic director at Mesquite while obtaining two master’s degrees in coaching and education leadership.
Previously, Hare led Mesa High’s football program for two seasons, which included a trip to the 6A quarterfinals in 2015 — the last time the Jackrabbits made it to the postseason.
He spent several years coaching a variety of programs in California and Nevada before settling in Arizona. But after that 2015 season, Scott felt it was time to step away from the sideline as a coach and take on the job in Mesquite’s administration.
“I thought three years ago it was time for me to grow up a bit and make a little more money for my family,” Scott said. “I think it was my wife that pushed me to coach again. The AD (athletic director) job was just that, a job, I didn’t really have the same type of passion I did for coaching.
“The fact she pushed so hard for me to do this makes it special for our family as a whole.”
After former Mesquite coach Chad DeGrenier announced he would be taking over the Mesa football program, Scott, and more importantly his wife, saw an opportunity for him to return to coaching.
As it turns out, they weren’t the only ones who missed being on a sideline.
“I said it was incredible and if he needed help to let me know,” Steve, Scott’s father and Mesquite’s quarterbacks coach, said. “He told me Cory (his younger brother) was coming and they talked about me coming and that was good enough for me.”
Steve was, in essence, the last piece of the puzzle in reuniting the Hares this season. The logistics of getting Cory, who works and lives in San Diego, to Arizona just for the football season was the most difficult part of the entire plan.
Cory, Mesquite’s defensive coordinator, previously coached with his older brother on several other occasions, including at Mesa. But most of their time together was when he was still single and able to live with Scott. But, when Cory married Shaz, it grew tougher but manageable to make this living arrangement work.
Now, however, Cory lives in San Diego - near the beach - with his two daughters California, 2, and Florence, 6 months, which makes the previous arrangement a bit more challenging.
“My wife is from Europe and I promised her we would live by the beach in San Diego and we do,” Cory said. “I just explained to her it was about my family and helping them out. She understood. It really is about being a tight-knit family and wanting to help my brother out.”
Cory and his family subleased their apartment in San Diego and lived in a distant relative’s home in Gold Canyon until Nov. 1. They then moved in with Steve and his wife, who sold their house in Reno, Nev. and moved to Arizona. Meanwhile, Scott, who was coaching Mesquite through spring ball - with only one other coach, finally had his entire staff in place in early July.
The three Hares, along with Don Murray, Nami Tuituu and Kent Anderson, began game-planning for this current season as a staff right away.
The coaching staff inherited a team filled with plentiful talent and led by four-star junior quarterback Ty Thompson. They all knew what the team was capable of, the only question left was how it would all come together in just one season with the team.
Clearly, something seemed to click right away. Nearly 6 months later, Mesquite was one of just 12 teams still practicing the week of Thanksgiving - in preparation for a title.
On Friday, the Hares will coach the Wildcats in their first championship game in the history of the program against Desert Edge in the 4A title game. Coaching together as a family in a championship game is something the three have only ever dreamt of.
And now - it’s a reality.
“We are always optimistic, we dreamt about winning,” Scott said. “I always feel like we believe we are going to do it, but to be here now, it’s really cool to be here with my brother and my dad doing what we love with a great group of players.”