Bloom U. coach speaker at St. John's UCC men's club breakfast
SHAMOKIN - Eighty people attended the men's club breakfast on Saturday in the fellowship hall at St. John's United Church of Christ to hear guest speaker Danny Hale, head football coach of the Bloomsburg University Huskies.
Hale, one of the winningest coaches in all of Division II, had announced the day before his plan to retire later this year.
Hale had a winning record of more than 75 percent during his career. He holds the school record for most coaching victories and is ranked in the top five among active coaches in NCAA Division II.
Hale said he was born and raised in a small town in southwestern Virginia, what he referred to as "true redneck country." He pointed out how he used to carry a hardly used Bible and told everyone falsely that he was a Christian.
As he grew older, wiser and more mature, he said, he changed his life and headed in a more positive direction. Hale showed the men assembled his regularly well-used Bible as a demonstration of where his life is now.
His coaching career had its roots in Biblical teachings, he said, all of which encouraged him to treat his players with athletic enthusiasm, but without cursing or unacceptable behavior.
"Did I ever get in a player's face?" Hale asked. "Absolutely, but I never intimidated or embarrassed a player. In fact, I made my point, then put my arms on their shoulders and professionally explained right from wrong.
"I was tough as nails, but in a right way," he continued. "That's part of learning from mistakes and learning how to handle various situations. God granted me the right way to reach young people, and for that I am forever grateful."
Among those present were the athletic director, coaches and 35 members of the 2013 Shamokin Area High School football team. A meet-and-greet session followed the breakfast.