With those words during a Friday afternoon press conference, an emotional Danny Hale announced his retirement after 20 years of roaming the sidelines as head coach of Huskies football. Paul Darragh, assistant head coach, was named interim head coach for the 2013 season.
Hale, one of the winningest coaches in Division II, completed his 20th season at Bloomsburg and his 25th year in coaching in 2012. At Bloomsburg, he posted a record of 173-56-1 (.754) and holds the school record for most coaching victories. In 25 years as a head coach, he had a mark of 213-69-1 (.754) and, at the end of last season, ranked in the top five among active coaches in NCAA Division II in winning percentage and victories. Hale was honored in April 2012 when the field at Redman Stadium was named in his honor following a yearlong fundraising effort.
“On behalf of the entire Bloomsburg University community, I thank Danny for making our football team one of the most respected programs in the country,” said BU President David Soltz. “I thank him for all that he’s done for the thousands of young men who played for him.”
For Hale, the decision to step away was not an easy one. “There is a time for everything in life and now is the time to pass the torch to someone else,” he said. “I am extremely proud of the program that has been established here. I’ll always be a part of this school.”
Hale received numerous awards during his coaching career, but he is most proud of his players. Among the outstanding athletes Hale coached at Bloomsburg are Irv Sigler, 1997 winner of the Harlon Hill Award as the nation’s top D-II player; Jamar Brittingham, all-time leading rusher in the history of the school and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC), who finished third in the balloting for the Harlon Hill; and current standout Franklyn Quiteh, who finished third and sixth in the Harlon Hill balloting in his first three years. Quiteh, who praised Hale as “a father figure … who turned a 17-year-old boy into a 21-year-old man,” is poised to break Brittingham’s school and PSAC career rushing mark next year.
Hale also coached current NFL star Jahri Evans of the New Orleans Saints, who is widely regarded as one of the league’s top offensive linemen. Nine players under Hale were named Associated Press Little All-Americans, earning a total of 13 honors.
Hale and his wife, Diane, are the parents of four children, Roman, Brandie, Tyson and Christina, and have 10 grandchildren.
A national search for a permanent successor will be conducted later this year. •