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Highlands Legend Retiring for More Time with Family
FORT THOMAS, Ky. (Joe Webb) -- After twenty years and 250 wins Dale Mueller calls it quits as Highlands High School's head football coach.
Mueller will run the athletic department and teach at Highlands for one more year but he is leaving the team he led to 11 state football championships.
It's hard to believe the flags at Highlands High School aren't at half-staff. Saturday, they narrowly lost a bid for a 7th straight Kentucky 4A championship. Monday they lost the coach who'd led the team to 11 titles.
59-year-old Dale Mueller knows a lot about clock management. He says this decision was about time. A decision to start revolving his time around his family instead of them revolving their time around him.
"Both daughters got married in the middle of the dead period because that's when it worked best for Dad and football. When we had Thanksgiving dinner its going to be early in the day because Dads got football practice that night."
Mueller says he is ready for some free time. There's no doubt he spent his time well coaching Highlands. His 20 years is a steady stream of wins, championships and players who've gone on to play at all levels of college football and the NFL.
He can't pick a favorite win or favorite moment in his career but he can quickly name his favorite player.
His son Eamon, a Bluebird running back, is the undisputed number one.
"I'd say there's a lot of guys who tie for second, though."
Most think of Dale Mueller as a football guy and hes definitely that. But he's a lot more. Mueller is an Ivy League grad with a mechanical engineering degree from Cornell. When he's not winning football titles, Mueller teaches chemistry and AP physics at Highlands.
He will continue to do that for another year and will serve as athletic director. He says the first day of weight training next season will be the hardest for him. He'll miss being there with the guys. Because for Dale Mueller, winning is more about relationships than x's and o's.
"I think the biggest thing that made me a successful football coach is I like the guys and they knew it and they liked me. We liked being part of a team together. Because we liked each other and we were part of a team, we tried hard and trying hard pays off."
It sure did. And now its time try hard at something else.
Dale Mueller played football at Highlands. After graduating from Cornell he worked as a mechanical engineer for several years before becoming a teacher and coach. Mueller was the head football coach at Withrow and Sycamore before coming to Highlands in 1994.