On October 25, 2019, Coach Hale announced his retirement as the head football coach at Holdrege High School. Coach Hale has been coaching football for 33 years, 21 of those years were at HHS.
When asked about his memories of coaching football, Coach Hale recalled one of the many games that stood out in his memory. He said the quarter-finals of 2004 when Holdrege played Aurora was a memorable game. The Dusters had a 9-1 record at the time and were ranked 2nd in the state. They expected an easy win, as they had won by several touchdowns earlier in the season. At the beginning of the 4th quarter, the Dusters were down by 11. Miraculously the boys pushed through and won the game. Coach Hale explained how the energy under the stadium lights was like nothing he had ever felt during his years coaching.
With moments like this, it would be hard to imagine giving it up.“When it’s time, it’s time,” Hale responded when asked why he had decided to retire as head football coach at Holdrege. “I’ve been a part of football in the fall for almost 45 years, and I just knew it was time.”
The most rewarding thing Coach Hale has gotten from coaching football is his relationships with the athletes and fellow coaches. The memories made on and off the field with those teams will always have a special place in his heart. In addition, it is rewarding to see the outcome of his coaching in the players. Hale explains how he likes to see the players utilize what they learned in practice during a game. “I’m a practice guy, I let the kids loose on game day.”
These relationships Coach Hale spoke about also are a huge part of a team, and the ones he made are what he will miss the most from his time coaching football. Coach Hale has made a positive impact on so many students and athletes throughout the years. Although Coach Hale is retiring from his football position, he will still be an impactful force teaching at the high school as well as coaching track.