Jesse Hart

Jesse Hart will be coaching football at Florence.

FLORENCE – A former Northern Arizona University football player who has coached at Mesa and San Tan Valley high schools has been picked to coach the Gophers varsity program in the new school year.

Jesse Hart will work alongside departing interim coach Bill McKane and the current coaching staff to continue the momentum built this year, according to an announcement from Florence Unified School District. Hart’s appointment is pending school board approval.

“We are elated to land a head football coach like Coach Hart at Florence High School,” Superintendent Chris Knutsen commented in FUSD’s news release. “His reputation of building a quality program from youth football to a solid varsity program will help to make Florence High football flourish. Welcome, Coach Hart, to FUSD.”

Hart has been coaching at the high school level since 2007 with time spent at Mesa Mountain View and Combs, and most recently as the defensive coordinator and strength and conditioning coach at Mesa Westwood.

He is committed to building strong relationships with students, athletes, and parents, “so that on Friday night, Florence High School is the place to be,” according to FUSD’s news release.

Hart played high school football at Dobson before heading to Dixie Community College in St. George, Utah, and finally playing at NAU.

He earned a Bachelor’s degree in communications and Master’s degree in education with an emphasis in physical education. He possesses an Arizona teaching certificate and will teach on the FHS campus full-time in the fall.


Mark Cowling is the county reporter for PinalCentral and covers the town of Florence, San Tan Valley and the surrounding area. He can be reached at

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