Justin Hastings, already feeling the demands of leading a basketball program, has had a change of heart and will not succeed Kevin Hartwig as Chandler Hamilton’s boys basketball coach, Principal Fred De Prez said.
Hastings, the school’s freshman coach the past four seasons, was on the job for 10 days.
Former Phoenix Desert Vista coach Doug Harris, who was a state Player of the Year in the late 1980s at Tempe Corona del Sol, has been named the new coach, De Prez added.
Hastings, who dived right in planning a summer schedule, has children ages 12, 9 and 6. He said he had some sleepless nights before making his decision. He posted on Facebook, “I just feel that I’ll miss out on too many of the things that they’ll be doing in the coming years. I miss plenty just being an assistant. I especially don’t want to miss out on coaching my own.”
De Prez understood.
“Justin found the demands of the job, even at this time of the year, incomparable with his young family,” DePrez said. “We’re glad he realized it now instead of October.”
Desert Vista didn’t renew Harris’ coaching contract after the 2009-10 season and the Thunder went 11-15. Two years earlier, Harris led Desert Vista to a 26-5 record and a state championship.
He won a state championship as a player and as a coach.
Hartwig resigned after last season, his first losing season since his first year when Hamilton opened in the late 1990s.
Harris was the junior varsity coach at Phoenix Mountain Pointe last season.
“We are excited about Doug,” DePrez said. “He has won at this level. He comes from schools with similar expectations. He’s going to be a great coach for Hamilton High School.”
Harris is ready to get going.
“I hit the restart button, so to speak,” he said.
He said he feels there are still some chapters to write in his coaching career and is intrigued by the great potential at Hamilton, a football factory that has teetered on the edge in basketball but has not quite broken through all the way yet.
“It’s so similar to Desert Vista,” Harris said. “I definitely want to play uptempo with it predicated on defense first making our offense go.”
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