December 9, 2008

Danny Hale Named AFCA Regional Coach of the Year

Danny Hale Being Interviewed

WACO, TEX. -- Bloomsburg University head football coach Danny Hale has been named the NCAA Division II co-Regional One Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). Hale shares the award with California (PA) coach John Luckhart.

Joining Hale and Luckhart as winner's in Division II are Tusculum's Frankie DeBusk (Region 2); Mel Tjeerdsma of Northwest Missouri State (Region 3); Abilene Christian's Chris Thomsen (Region 4) and Wayne State's (Neb.) Dan McLaughlin (Region 5).

The 2008 Regional Coach of the Year winners will be recognized at the AFCA Coach of the Year Dinner at the 2009 AFCA Convention in Nashville, Tenn. The dinner is scheduled for January 13.

Hale led the Huskies to a record of 11-2 this season and a berth in the NCAA Division II playoffs. Bloomsburg reached the Super Region One finals before losing to California (PA). He was also named a Division II finalist for the 2008 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award.

At Bloomsburg, Hale has posted a record of 136-46-1 (.745) and holds the school record for most coaching victories. Overall in 21 years as a head coach, he has a mark of 176-59-1 (.747) and is ranked among the top 10 active coaches in NCAA Division II in winning percentage. In his 16 seasons as head coach at Bloomsburg he has led the Huskies to 10 outright or shared Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division titles and six NCAA post-season playoff berths. In this decade (2000 to 2008) the Huskies are also one of the most successful NCAA Division II programs with a combined record of 83-22 (.790). In 2006 he was featured on an ABC-TV special hosted by Keith Jackson for being a finalist for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award.

In 2006, the Huskies posted a mark of 12-2 and won the PSAC Eastern Division title, while also capturing the NCAA Northeast Regional title and advancing to the NCAA Division II national semi-finals. Hale was named the PSAC East Coach of the Year, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II District I Coach of the Year.

In 2005, Hale led the Huskies to a record of 11-1, including an unbeaten (11-0) mark in the regular season. It was just the fourth time in school history that a Bloomsburg team went through the regular season without a loss. He also earned PSAC Eastern Division Coach of the Year honors and the AFCA District One Coach of the Year award.

The Huskies also reached the NCAA playoffs in 1996, 2000 and 2001 seasons. During the 2000 season the Huskies were 12-3 and advanced to the NCAA championship game, eventually losing in the title contest. The team reached the finals after rallying from a 19-point deficit against UC-Davis in the national semi-finals to post a 58-48 win. Hale earned the American

Football Coaches Association Division II National Coach of the Year following the season.

Overall Hale has also been named the AFCA District I Coach of the Year honors 10 times, the third highest total in the program's history trailing just Mount Union's Larry Kehres (13) and Penn State coach Joe Paterno with 11. Twice he has won the honor in consecutive seasons (2000 and 2001 and 2005 and 2006). He has been named the PSAC Eastern Division Coach of the Year 10 times, including four straight from 1994 to 1997 and back-to-back in 2005 and 2006.

Among the great players Hale has coached include Irv Sigler, the winner of the 1997 Harlon Hill Award as the nation's best Division II football player. Sigler finished the year as one of the few players ever in Division II history to average more than 200 yards per game rushing.

In addition, Hale also coached Jamar Brittingham, a 2005 top three finalist for the Harlon Hill. Brittingham finished 2005 as college football's top rusher and scorer and was fourth in Division II in all-purpose yards. At the end of Brittingham's career in 2007, he was the all-time leading rusher and scorer in the history of both Bloomsburg and the PSAC and set a total of 29 school and conference records.

Hale's other standout performer has been Jahri Evans, a fourth round draft choice of the New Orleans Saints in 2006. Evans, an offensive lineman, has started each game for the Saints the past two seasons along with two post-season games. He was named to the NFL All-Rookie team in 2006.

At West Chester Hale posted a mark of 40-13 and won three PSAC East titles and advanced to the NCAA playoffs in 1988.

Prior to West Chester, Hale was an offensive line and defensive coordinator at Colgate from 1981 to 1983. Prior to Colgate, Hale was the offensive line coach at Bucknell from 1975-80 and was defensive coordinator/linebacker coach at Vermont in 1974.

Hale is a graduate of West Chester, earning his bachelor's and master's degrees in Health and Physical Education in 1968 and 1973. He was an all-conference pick at West Chester and earned the team's most valuable player in the 1967 State Championship game, while also lettering three times for the track and field team. He is a member of the West Chester Football Hall of Fame and the Delaware County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

In 1968 Hale signed with the Pottstown Firebirds, the semi professional farm club of the Philadelphia Eagles, before entering the Marine Corps where he played middle linebacker for the Quantico Marines. Following a three-year stint, he was honorably discharged as a first lieutenant in 1972.

Hale and his wife Diane are the parents of four children, Roman; Brandie; Tyson; and Christina and have nine grandchildren.