Following a 2-9 season in 2011, Plymouth South coach Scott Fry talked about hiring Mike Harty, whom Fry had played against in high school and college, to be his offensive and defensive line coach.
But first, Fry asked Harty’s son, Brendan, then a sophomore offensive lineman on the team, if he felt comfortable with the idea.
Brendan gave the thumbs up.
Today, Mike Harty coaches a starting offensive line that features not only Brendan, a senior and his second of three sons, but also his youngest son, Ryan, a junior.
“It’s been a great situation coaching both of them,” Mike said. “I get to see them mature, see them grow, not only as players but as people.”
Brendan, 18, starts at center while Ryan, 16, starts a split away at left guard.
The brothers are very close. Brendan knows Ryan always orders Maine Black Bear when the family goes out for ice cream, and Ryan, who gets a ride to school and practice from Brendan, knows his older brother loves Eminem.
“I don’t have any friend that’s better than the relationship I have with Ryan,” Brendan said. “Playing next to each other, we have that trust factor that nobody else has.”
Mike, whose sons describe him as loud and intense, played football at Bridgewater-Raynham (Class of 1987) and four years at Central Connecticut State (Class of 1992) as a defensive end.
Recently, Ryan and Brendan stumbled on some old film of their father playing in high school and had the chance to flip the roles of coach and player.
“It’s funny because he’s been critiquing us on film for so many years,” Brendan said, “and now we look back at his old film and it’s just funny to kind of critique him a little bit.”