Cheney residents, students and staff who attend home football games may notice a man walking along the sidelines, greeting folks and talking into a walkie-talkie.
This is Gregg Hare, who became Cheney High School’s athletics director and an assistant principal in July. Hare took over from Jim Missel, who retired in June.
An avid sports fan, Hare grew up in Spokane and graduated from North Central where he played baseball and football. He later attended and played baseball at Walla Walla Community College and Whitworth University.
After receiving his bachelors from Whitworth, he took a teaching and athletics director position at Mountainside Middle School in the Mead School District. He was also a coach for many teams, including pitching coach at Mt. Spokane High School. Hare later graduated with his masters from Walden University and earned his principal certification at Eastern Washington University.
During his time at Mountainside, Hare was able to learn about the WIAA (Washington Interscholastic Activities Association) rules and procedures, which helped prepare him for his new role at Cheney. He also credited Mountainside’s staff with helping him develop into the “AD and teacher he is today.”
“It was bittersweet and tough to leave because we were like family,” Hare said. “They helped build me from the ground up.”
Hare said the transition to Cheney has been good, though going from a middle school to a high school has been an adjustment. He credits the administrators, teachers and coaches for helping make the transition “easier than it could have been.”
“I think I’ve been asking them more questions than they have asked me,” Hare said. “Being the new guy is never easy, especially after you take over for a guy as well-liked as Jim Missel.”
One thing Hare enjoys about his current role is it keeps him involved with athletics while being in administration. He also sees Cheney as the “perfect size” of a school district.
“Every building has its own identity, as opposed to a school district like Spokane where schools are a part of the larger system,” Hare said.
Now that he’s at Cheney, Hare has two goals in his first year as athletics director. One is to improve and enhance the communication with the high school, parents and the community. He also wants to get the community passionate about Blackhawk athletics. Part of this effort includes creating posters featuring senior Blackhawk athletes and putting them up at local businesses.
“You see those posters with EWU (Eastern Washington University) athletes and I thought ‘why can’t we do that?'”
Other goals Hare has include getting together with the Great Northern League athletic directors and officials and updating the league’s website, and having elementary school students attend basketball games.
As for his first Cheney High School football game, Sept. 4 where the Blackhawks defeated Colville, 28-0, Hare said it was a “a great environment.” He compared the experience to his days at North Central and playing at Joe Albi Stadium.
“We never filled up the stands for those games,” Hare said. “The crowd at the first Cheney game was great. The kids were into it and the support from everyone was awesome. We have more home games, which is good because there’s something about playing at your home site that you can’t beat.”