I knew I wanted to play football. It was my favorite childhood sport and I wanted to pursue it through high school. My family has known Coach Hessler and his family for a long time; in fact, my Dad played as a offensive lineman for his Dad. After the first practice, Coach Hessler came up to me with energy that electrified the air and asked, “How’s your old man doing?” and continued making small talk with me. This was huge because I realized that Coach Hessler wanted to bond with his players and be involved with them, and that made me more comfortable as I continued to play in this program. He was so inviting and open that I wasn’t afraid (as a young and small freshman) to get involved with the older players.
High school sports was the only time I truly connected with a coach and built a bond that is strong enough to last far into the future. I was fortunate enough to be brought up by a talented class, (arguably one of the best to come through Arrowhead) and I was very lucky to be brought up in a program with a unmatched work ethic.
This was all because of Coach Hessler. Whenever practice would start to suck he would say five words that still ring in my head. Just like a drill sergeant, he would raise his voice and say ,“All we do is work!” His words echoed across the field and put fuel on the fire that was inside us to work hard and finish the practice.
At every practice, coach brought a bright and amicable personality that made practice a loose and fun environment. He would strike up a conversation with his players and listen to what they were saying. The great thing about Coach Hessler’s personality is he knew when to make us work and push us hard and when it was time for a little bit of fun and comradery.
This made practices easier to manage, and more fun. Coach Hessler’s personality was like one I have never seen. It seemed as if his energy level skyrocketed whenever practice would start and his energy would transfer over to his players. He would always find a way to get each one of his athletes to work harder.
Coach Hessler cared about the game of football and even more about his players. His willingness to spend extra time with players for whatever reason is one of the great characteristics of his coaching and personality. Whether it be involved with extra technique and drill work, or talking to a player about personal issues, Coach would always make time for us. I’ll always remember what he said to me “If you ever need anything,Yeags, just come and talk with me. No matter what it is about.”
Having said all these things about Coach Hessler I hope makes him seem like an extraordinary person who will go above and beyond for his player; but, I could write even more about how he has affected my life. I was truly blessed to be able to play under him and I was blessed to have him as a mentor, coach, and role model.
Thank you, Coach Hessler, for giving me the experience of having an excellent coach and being with an even better person. I will take the lessons you’ve taught me and carry them with me through the rest of my life. Thank you.