Another well-deserved honor has come to Dale Gildehaus, head football coach at St. Francis Borgia Regional High School. A humble man and a keen molder of young men, when the call came that he will be inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, he said it “brought tears to my eyes.”
In typical fashion for him, when interviewed by Sports Editor Bill Battle of The Missourian about the award, he quickly mentioned other Franklin County coaches he felt should be honored. He praised others in the 2018 inductee class. At the announcement program in St. Louis, he said, sports figures he grew up watching, and some who he still watches today, such as Frank Cusumano of sports television fame, Dale emphasized he “was humbled and honored” to be included.
Dale’s record of 258 football victories and his 32 years of coaching at Borgia speak highly of his coaching skills. That’s averaging about eight wins a season. He also has won a state championship, and two state semifinal runs. But more importantly, it is what he instills in his players in character building that is so important. He and his players, over the years, have hated to lose, and when that happens, such as Friday night against undefeated Cardinal Ritter of St. Louis, he and his assistant coaches see that as a learning experience and they turn it into action, preparing to improve for the next game. He heaps praise on the winners. He doesn’t believe in lasting bitterness.
Dale motivates sportsmanship. He expects his players on the field to always promote and exercise sportsmanship. He expects the older players on the team to set an example for the younger players when it comes to training and preparation. His spirit of fair play trickles down to his players.
This honor follows being a member of the Truman University Athletic Hall of Fame and the Missouri Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He was a football player at Truman after playing the sport at Borgia in high school.
There will always be another football season for Dale, either as a coach or rooting for the Knights. His heart is shaped like a football!