Life of a Brave: Unsung Hero, Longtime Golf Coach and Faculty Member, Mr. Jack Hastert
By Aydn Morris
Mr. Hastert continues to make his mark in the Bosco community, even after first stepping foot on campus 56 years ago.
Mr. Hastert has been all over the Brave community. Whether it was as a student, teacher, coach or counselor, he has done it all.
Mr. Hastert taught 37 years at Bosco, focusing mainly on the religious aspect of teaching, as that is what he wanted to give back to the students. He taught sophomore Morality, Social Justice and Relationships, as well as freshmen Old Testament and New Testament. He also taught Christian Service, which was a senior class that took place off-campus. The class was for seniors to serve their community any way that they can, whether it was tutoring, helping out at handicapped kids, among many other noble causes, with the goal to follow God’s will to serve others.
“I never really had much of a career plan. My goal was always to have this vague idea to help others, but I never really knew how I would go at it,” said Mr. Hastert.
About a year after graduating, Mr. Hastert applied to a Jesuit volunteer group, called Jesuit Volunteer Corp, in which he ended up spending two years in Seattle teaching physical education. At the time, it was one of the biggest Catholic grammar schools on the west coast. In 1978, he got a job as a youth minister at St. Dominic Savio, which is also where he met his wife of 42 years.
Mr. Hastert was in need of another job with his kids being on the way, but luckily, Bosco asked him to run the bookstore for year. After the year, St. John Bosco asked him if he would like to teach, but Mr. Hastert was hesitant about taking a teaching job. At first, he declined, but Bosco was able to convince him to take the job, and he made sure he was great at his job every single day.
Mr. Hastert spent two years teaching, and then was asked to become Campus Minister, which led him to quitting the job that he still had at St. Dominic Savio, even though he continued to run the bookstore. He held one and a half jobs for about six years so that his wife could stay with the kids while they were still little.
In addition, Mr. Hastert was the Religion Department’s chairperson and the Athletic Director, which he said no to at first because he thought he would be too busy for it, with his kids just getting ready to go to high school. However, he ended up serving that role for ten years. This was special to him, as for all his time at Bosco, there were only three other athletic directors: Marty Duissere, Ed Riley and Monty McDermott.
Not only was he a teacher, Athletic Director and Campus Minister, but he was also known as coach for Bosco football and golf. Coaching was one of the jobs Bosco did not ask Coach Hastert to do, but athletics was something he wanted to be a part of. He coached football for 26 years, serving as freshman head coach and varsity special teams coordinator. He then moved his coaching career into golf, which Mr. McDermott suggested because he knew he loved the game of golf.
Lastly being a guidance counselor was the only job Mr. Hastert ever asked for. He held this job from 2002 to 2011 and it was one of his favorite jobs at Bosco because of the psychological love for dealing with the students, their families and their feelings.
“One thing I would’ve done differently in life would have been change my major to Psychology, because at the time I didn’t know what that was but now that I do, I would have done that,” said Mr. Hastert.
He also enjoyed it because the people, even those that retired in the department, which he is still very close friends with, made it feel like it wasn’t work at all.
“Bosco has always been this place where you don’t feel like you are going to work with people you hate, but going to work with people you consider friends and family,” said Mr. Hastert
Mr. Hastert has taught and coached many Bosco alumni, which just makes his job so much easier.
Mr. Hastert has always been a family person, as many of his decisions have been made for his family. He was the oldest of his three brothers and three sisters, and they all bonded very closely as they did everything together growing up. His youngest sibling was born when he was 14 years old, and crazy enough, Mr. Hastert taught his youngest brother at Bosco twice.
He also has three kids: two daughters and one son. Both of his daughters went to St. Joseph High School and his son also went to Bosco. His oldest daughter, Julianne, is a nurse with two children, his other daughter, Rachael, also has two kids and works for many companies’ websites, and his son Jacob sells medical equipment to hospitals, and he has a son and daughter as well.
Mr. Hastert loved sports as a kid, and he is a fan of the Rams, Dodger, Lakers and USC.
“I know a lot about sports. I should have been a sports announcer,” said Mr. Hastert.
His love for sports is the reason he started coaching, as he also played many sports growing up, including baseball, basketball, soccer, football, cross country and golf.
As much as Coach Hastert loves sports and golf, he announced his retirement from coaching, with this season being his last.
“I wanted to have more free time to spend with my wife, to go traveling, visiting our family and not missing out on family events. It certainly wasn’t that I didn’t like it anymore, although I did get frustrated at players not listening or responding to emails, text or not showing up to matches. The main reason was to spend time with my wife and my family,” said Mr. Hastert.
Although he is stepping down as the head coach, he will still be a part of the team to help out if needed, which shows true love and dedication to Bosco.
“There are many things about Bosco that I really like, but the diversity of the place is one thing I love. It’s not just ethnic diversity, it’s financial diversity. There is academic diversity. We have people from all over the world at the school. If you point one direction there are people coming from there and from the other direction there are people coming from there, you can point any direction and there are people coming from there,” said Mr. Hastert
He doesn’t believe that the students realize how much of an advantage that is to their lives because the diversity allows one to hear from multiple people’s perspectives, and that has even opened his eyes up about everyone’s unique challenges that they have to overcome to be successful, helping him grow as a person.
“What has made Bosco such a special place to me is the family spirit. The Salesians really fostered the concept of Don Bosco and are all about being family, which is really important. With less Salesians, I am concerned we will lose that family spirit. They used to really push us on how important family was, but if Bosco loses the concept of family, it might not be as good as it was,” said Mr. Hastert
Although Mr. Hastert may be leaving his Bosco occupation, he definitely values family in his life, and will always be a part of the Bosco family.