Long-time Pequot Lakes coaches Jon and Kate Dale announced Monday, April 3, that they will retire as coaches in the Pequot Lakes High School athletic department at the end of the current school year.
Jon Dale will step down as head coach of the Patriots' girls basketball and girls golf teams. He also previously served as the school's cross country coach. Kate will retire as head coach of the Pequot Lakes volleyball team and assistant coach of the girls basketball and softball teams. The two will continue teaching.
"We are just retiring," Jon said. "We had a lot of ups and downs - mostly ups ... We had great kids and were very fortunate to be able to be with those kids. I think in the last 23 seasons, I have coached in 20 state tournaments (between the three sports) ... We had very successful careers. I don't really have anything negative to say. We had a good run and I was very fortunate and blessed to have some great kids."
The two will look to spend more time with their 11-year-old son, Jameson, and other family members.
"I have been in that gym for 30 years, including all summer, and usually we would go to state in golf, which would go until June 15 or so," Jon said. "There weren't a lot of breaks, and some of those seasons would overlap. I coached 90-plus seasons of high school sports and 88 seasons of youth sports."
When reached for comment, Kate only confirmed she is indeed stepping down as a coach.
"I am proud of Kate's involvement," Jon said. "We have established a really good basketball program. There are a lot of good kids up and coming. I would thank, obviously, all of my assistant coaches. It has just been a good run."
The two end with a career basketball record of 351-99. Most recently, the Patriots reached the 2016 state tournament, falling to Roseau in the first round.
"There is never a great time to end, because you get attached to the next group and the next," Jon said. "I want to spend time with Jameson and use our lake home a little more, and I want to get out and get some golfing in.
"Maybe we are just at the 'tired' part of 'retired.'"
Jon and Kate Dale will continue coaching golf and softball, respectively, throughout the 2016 season.