High school football: Mountain View’s new coach all about community in his new community

Aaron Hart is getting to know the school, and his players, this week as the new head coach of Mountain View football. Photo by Paul Valencia
Aaron Hart is getting to know the school, and his players, this week as the new head coach of Mountain View football. Photo by Paul Valencia

Aaron Hart was announced last week to take over the Thunder’s program

Paul Valencia

Aaron Hart was wearing a green shirt with the MV logo on it this week as he was getting to know folks at Mountain View High School.

He said he had never worn green until now, but he is getting used to his new look.

“I wasn’t going to take just any job,” Hart said. “It had to be the right fit.”

Hart is trying to fit in, in a hurry.

A late vacancy in the high school coaching world, at least for high school football, meant a late hiring process.

Last week, Aaron Hart was selected as the next head coach for Mountain View football. This week, Hart is on campus, getting to know teachers and administrators, interviewing assistant coaches, and, of course, meeting with the players.

While many football players across the region started “spring drills” on May 30, the Thunder won’t hit the field until next week.

Their new coach will be ready. And while being a couple weeks behind schedule might be of concern for some, it will not be for Hart. After all, at his first head coaching job, he started a football program.

Yes. From scratch.

That first year, Hart had more than 20 freshmen and a handful of sophomores. By Year 4, the Lincoln Lynx of Seattle had won a share of a league title in the Metro League Sound Division. 

Mountain View, of course, is an established program, one that has had eight consecutive winning regular seasons and has qualified for the postseason the past six seasons.

Absolutely, these are different circumstances, going from a new program to a traditional Southwest Washington power.

Hart, though, will bring the same philosophy that has guided him throughout his career.

“I grew up in Wyoming. Things were based around community sports. I like community,” Hart said. “I try to build the community aspect of it. I engage with parents and the community as a whole rather than just talk Xs and Os and do football.

“My main focus is the kids, the community, and doing things the right way.”

His belief in doing things the right way is the reason he was available. He felt so strongly that something was wrong with the way the Metro League handled football, and football scheduling, that he walked away from Lincoln.

In short, he did not think Lincoln, a public school in Seattle, should be going up against the private schools on a consistent basis. A crossover game here and there? Sure. But not playing against the best of the best week after week after week.

Hart had voiced his concerns for months about the upcoming season. He said he even proposed a potential solution. But nothing changed.

“Had I gone through the season, no one would have talked about it. By stepping down, it made the news, and at least now it’s a conversation,” he said.

“Football is a tool in order to try to create change,” Hart said. “I’m just trying to do things the right way.”
About the time Hart was stepping away from Lincoln of Seattle, Adam Mathieson had made it official that he was leaving Mountain View football. Mathieson coached 15 seasons with the Thunder.

Since Coach (Mathieson) had been here so long and built this program up, (I figured) it would be a good fit potentially,” Hart said.

Then Hart nailed it as he met with school and district officials.

“Aaron has a proven track record of success,” said Cale Piland, athletic director for Evergreen Public Schools. “He was impressive the entire interview process.”

In a whirlwind of events, from leaving Lincoln, to interviewing, and then the hiring, it is time now for Hart, his wife, and their children to start the process of moving to Vancouver.

Aaron Hart is not employed by a school district. His supervisors have given their blessing for him to work remotely in Vancouver. Hart said he will be on campus at Mountain View during the day as much as possible, and his job will not conflict with football.

“I’m just marching forward,” Hart said. “What I’m focusing on right now is starting to get to know the kids, observing, and putting a staff together. And making sure the kids have a good experience.”

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