By Jaryd Cline
Sports Editor 

Hale set for USA Football coaching debut


Jaryd Cline

ATTLE FOR THE BOARD: Goldendale head football coach Alan Hale poses with Alex Allan, left, and Cameron Read during practice on Nov. 3.

First year Timberwolves football coach Alan Hale's pervious job before moving to Goldendale joining the Timberwolves was coaching middle school football, along with basketball, track and field and wrestling in McKinney, Texas. He also coached football in Allen, Texas prior to that.

This week though, Hale returns to the Lone Star State as a coach, but this time it's just a little bit different than before.

After flying into Texas today, Hale gets right to work after being selected as the offensive line coach for the U15 Honor, one of 16 teams competing this year in USA Football's eighth annual International Bowl.

The International Bowl, the largest annual international football competition, features a week of practices, activities and games for 11 USA gridiron teams as well as five international teams. The games themselves will take place in AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys on Monday and Tuesday.

"Just to think that little old me in this humongous pantheon to (coach) the sport that I love most, it's just, wow," Hale said.

The former center will lead a group of 10 to 12 offensive lineman for the Honor, a select team made up of athletes ages 15 and younger from around the country.

As for how the opportunity presented itself, in early December, Hale was joking with one of his former students, Manny Chavez, about how cool the opportunity would be to coach for USA Football.

Hale was Chavez' sophomore science teacher in Concord, California, and also coached a U17 team in last year's International Bowl.

Chavez knew USA Football director Aaron Ingram and put in a good word for Hale.

"Next thing I know, he's (Chavez) calling me saying 'Hey coach. Remember that conversation we had? ... Well, there might be an opportunity. We're looking for a position coach for one of the staffs," Hale recalled.

Less than a week later, on Dec. 16, Hale received an email from Ingram inviting him to coach.

He accepted, booked his flights, and is in Texas as you're reading this preparing for four days of practice before his team takes the gridiron on Monday at 11 a.m. against the U15 Pride, another select team from the U.S.

Although the kids are 15 and have years before deciding where to play at the next level, many of them will go on to sign with NCAA Division I football programs.

"There's definitely top-quality athletes," Hale said.

Although the kids are polished athletes, Hale wants to preach work ethic and technique and wants his kids playing from snap to whistle.

"It doesn't matter what sport you play, everything starts from the ground," Hale said. "You have to have great footwork. You have to have great tenacity, especially as an offensive lineman."

In last year's International Bowl, there were kids competing from 63 different countries. Something that excited Hale was the visibility that his hometown will receive from him coaching at the event.

"Now, literally, the name Goldendale, Washington, will be in a sports program that kids all over the world are going to see," Hale said.

Then, kids all over the world will be wondering 'Where the heck is Goldendale, Washington?'


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