This week's Valpo Life in the Spotlight is Dave Coyle, Valparaiso High School teacher who was recently named the Head Football Coach, replacing Mark Hoffman.
Coyle has been with VHS since 1990 following his studies at Ball State University. Coyle is a teacher at VHS and teaches an advanced and regular Marine Biology course. Coyle has been coaching both baseball and football for 20 years. He is both the head football and baseball coach at VHS. He is married to his wife Angie, who teaches third grade at Memorial Elementary. He has two daughters, who both attend VHS.
Being a teacher and coaching is tough enough, but Coyle goes above and beyond. He is the head coach for two sports, a teacher, a husband, a father and he is dedicated to Valparaiso High School.
"It becomes very difficult, but I think most coaches will tell you that organization is something that you must have in this profession," he said. "If you don't have it, you aren't going to last long."
Coyle has taught since he graduated from Ball State University. He uses his skills as teacher both on the gridiron and the baseball diamond.
"I think that a great coach is a great teacher. We are all here to teach first," he added. "I think that is the number one priority that we have. When you can grab and keep a students attention for X amount of time in the classroom, that is what you take out onto the field or baseball diamond."
Coyle is very proud of all of his students and athletes that he has interacted with through the years. He says that Valpo kids are the best students and athletes to work with.
"When they [the students] understand what you are trying to do, they will run through walls for you," he said. "That is the caliber of kid that we have here and that comes through family background and the traditions that are found here [in Valparaiso]."
Coyle strives to do the best he can in teaching. He makes sure that his students and athletes are prepared for the real world and that they will be able to deal with the everyday challenges of life.
"You want to watch the kids grow. You want to see them walk in with X amount of knowledge and walk out with X amount of knowledge and ultimately that is how we measure ourselves," he said. "In athletics, it is the same concept, we are trying to take these young men and turn them into men and teach them about life's everyday challenges."
Coyle is always looking for ways to involve himself and his students in the community. Just recently, his athletes held a 7 on 7 and an 11 on 11 tournament to raise money for the Valparaiso Education Foundation. They raised $1,500 for the foundation this year. He also has been involved with the Day of Caring put on by the United Way of Porter County. His players spent the day at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, cleaning up the park as part of service to the community.
"With two head coaching jobs, a marine biology course and teaching, there are just not enough days in the year to be that involved, but I look for ways that we can give back," he said.
Being a longtime resident of Valparaiso, Coyle is amazed at how much the city has changed. He gives credit to the leadership from the past decades and the people of Valparaiso as the reason behind that great and enormous change.
"It has been very interesting. I look at the plaza where JC Penny's is and I think about all of those things, the movie theatre that never used to be there, it was all corn fields," he added. "I think that what the community is doing is awesome. I think there has been a big push for the arts and things that are going on in our city. The new sidewalk dedication that was made allows people to go out and exercise. We have been lucky that we have had some great leaders and great leadership. I think Valpo is growing. I think that is something to be said for our city leaders."
Because of his commitment to his work as an educator, coach and mentor Dave Coyle is most definitely a Valpo Life in the Spotlight.