Goldendale football coach Alan Hale reflects on USA Football coaching experience, sees potential in Goldendale
Photo courtesy USA Football
Goldendale head football coach Alan Hale, left, watches a play unfold while standing next to the U15/14 Honor head coach Vai Tuau. Tuau was a special teams player for the Seattle Seahawks before starting his coaching career.
After a week in Texas coaching the offensive line for a USA Football U15/14 select team, first year Goldendale head football coach Alan Hale returned to town armed with even more knowledge and ideas on how to help the Timberwolves continue to grow.
Hale was one of seven coaches on the U15/14 Honor, which was one of 16 teams from three countries competing in the eighth annual International Bowl, the largest annual international football competition in the world.
After four days of two-a-days practices and many film sessions, Hale's team hit the gridiron on Monday, Jan. 16 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Playing on the same field a day after the Green Bay Packers knocked off the Dallas Cowboys 34-31 in the NFC Divisional Playoff Round, the Honor topped the Pride 41-29 behind an efficient offense and a good push up front.
"They were bigger than us across the board," Hale said.
Despite the size discrepancy, he said his group of linemen, which included some converted defensive linemen, were able to win the line of scrimmage with more hustle and better technique than their opposition.
He also said the Pride had a defensive tackle that was as big as he was, and that his center pancaked him and took him out of the game in the second quarter.
After the work on the field was done, Hale went right back to work in the classroom, picking the brains of the other coaches on his squad.
"I sat down with our head coach and I actually walked through our offensive alignment, the typical defense we see in our area," Hale said, "and we literally looked at little wrinkles I could be able to add to our offensive playbook that I think are going to be helpful."
"It's minor tweaks and adjustments coming from a guy who played in the NFL. Played at a Division I college," he added.
The head coach of the Honor, Vai Tuau, was a running back at the University of Nevada Reno, playing with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and also was a special teams player for the Seahawks from 2011-12. He currently is the special teams analyst for the Nevada Wolfpack.
There also were high school coaches from Philadelphia, North Carolina and California on the Honor staff.
"All of them said call me," Hale said. "We're all with each other that way so now my kids are literally getting coached from across the nation. Just because of the people I can call on as resources."
He also got some help on his defense from another member of the staff, Caleb King, who's a head coach in Buford, North Carolina, who runs a similar defense to the Timberwolves.
"We talked about just little, small adjustments and he even told me 'Coach, we're small and skinny like you,'" Hale said.
King and his small and skinny defense have played in five state title games in North Carolina over the years, and Hale is excited to work with Goldendale defensive coordinator Blake Lesko and make some tweaks to the defense.
Being around more than 500 kids that were involved with USA Football, Hale knows the dedication and work it takes to be a part of the program, and sees some potential in Goldendale.
"Honestly, there's kids in this town that could play in this program," Hale said. "And now that it's an official Olympic development program, that just makes it cooler."
The path to becoming part of the USA Football program is a tough one that starts with various regional development camps around the country with guidance from college coaches, and Hale is excited and eager to help give some current and future Timberwolves the chance to earn their stars and stripes.
For more information on USA Football programs, visit http://bit.ly/2jaJtH5.