Gary Haag was the Pied Piper of the neighborhood. Children would flock to his house when they saw him drive home from work. He would lead the children off to games of baseball, soccer or hockey. Bicycles and scooters would be left scattered in the Haag driveway, their owners off playing with Mr. Haag and his kids.
It was never about winning, or competing to be strongest and fastest. Everyone was invited. Even Mr. Haag’s 2-year-old daughter, Molly, would join in and kick the ball when she could.
He would get home to Ossining, N.Y., from his job at Marsh & McLennan at 6:30 p.m., change clothes, and rush through dinner so he could play with the children until the sun went down -- or until his wife, Mary, put her foot down. His sons, Michael and Kevin, started homework right after school so they would be ready when dad came home.
Mr. Haag, 36, loved sports and adored children. Coaching united the two. He coached a peewee football team before he got married and he coached a T-ball team after he had kids.
He was an avid sports fan and would bring his kids to Yankees and Rangers games. Sports was a glue for Mr. Haag and his children. 'It was something special they shared together,' his wife said.