Steve Belles, Uber driver. That’s a story for a bit later.
Spent two hours with the former Hamilton head football coach Wednesday afternoon at Lucky Lou’s in Gilbert. Earlier in the day Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said his office had decided not to file charges against Belles and two other administrators due to a lack of evidence and witness cooperation.
Montgomery gives decision not to file charges against 3 adults involved in Hamilton HS investigation,not enough evidence/witness cooperation pic.twitter.com/3F0hfDTXkA— MaricopaCounty Atty. (@marcoattorney) February 14, 2018
Belles’ phone was beeping with texts and ringing with calls throughout our conversation. After awhile it felt like we were talking in a call center. Yes, he’s relieved, yes, he wants to keep on coaching. I was more interested in things like, “What did you do on Friday nights while the Hamilton football team was playing?”-He didn’t go to any games, “didn’t want to be a distraction to the players.” He watched all of their games through online services the next day.
There are a few high school coaches in the Valley that he’d like to work for. There are already opportunities that may turn into jobs. Now that he’s been cleared of any wrongdoing, it’s time for him to get back to work. Something that struck me during our conversation was Belles unplugging from the high school football scene in Arizona during the last eight months. He wanted to know about the Brock Purdy story that gripped the recruiting scene the last six weeks. There was conversation on many, many subjects that I am not going to write about today (there will come another time).
I’d say the number of congratulatory calls he took during our time together was well into double digits and his phone continuously beeped with dozens and dozens of texts. At certain points it all sounded like a Las Vegas casino.
I asked him what he did in spare time at night to keep his mind occupied, “I was a Uber driver.” Turns out that Belles enjoyed his time behind the wheel of the ride-share company. “I got recognized a couple of times, but people were very supportive.”
Tonight it’s dinner with his wife, then he’ll head to his daughter’s athletic event in Utah this weekend and come back ready to pursue the next step of returning to his coaching career. Obviously it won’t be at Hamilton, the Huskies have a new head coach. A five-time state champion head football coach doesn’t come available very often. I don’t expect him to be off the sidelines for long.
Wednesday wasn’t the time or place to have a heavy conversation about the last 12 months. He asked for some time to think it all through but agreed to come in studio once he’s had some time away from Wednesday’s news.
The obvious answer to all of this from Belles was,
“I’m very happy about the outcome without question.”