Last Friday, which marked the start of the Del Norte Warriors 85th football season, we started the year with a new head coach, Bob Hadfield, number 14 in the Warriors’ long history.
It was fun to watch him start off on a winning note with a 6-0 win over Hidden Valley, Ore. I feel we can look forward to more fun times under Hadfield.
I covered Warrior head football coaches 1 to 10 last week. This week I will cover 11, 12 and 13.
Coach No. 11 was me. This was like a dream come true. I look back to when I played my senior season as a Warrior in 1950, under coach Chuck DeAutermont and assistants Tex Gatlin and Mike Whalen and dreamed of someday being able to patrol the Warrior sidelines, like they did.
In 1980, when I had the chance to return to Del Norte as athletic director, dean of students, and coach football, it was the fulfillment of that dream. Before taking over as head coach, I enjoyed six seasons working as offensive coordinator for coach No. 10, Jerry Smith.
In 1986, when I was selected as head coach my dreams were really fulfilled. During the four years I was in this position, Lewis Nova was one of my assistants. I recognized right away that he had some very special talents, and that he had hopes of someday leading the Warriors.
After the 1989 season, when I found my administrative duties were interfering with my coaching duties, I was thrilled to turn the reins over to coach Nova.
Nova actually did two separate terms as the football leader. The first was a 10-year stretch. The second was a term from 2005 to 2008. Between these two terms coach No. 13 took the lead.
Tony Fabricus came in for four seasons to lead the Warriors. After four years Tony had the opportunity to fulfill his goal of becoming a school administrator and now serves as the athletic director and assistant principal at the high school, a job that I know Tony will be really good at.
During the 85 years that the Warriors have played football only two head coaches have been Warrior graduates myself and coach Nova. Between the two of us we had the privilege of leading the Warriors for 20 seasons. This matches the 20 seasons that the program was led by coach Ed Fraser. we didn’t quite catch the 22 seasons of Tex Gatlin and Dale Thomas.
It has been fun to look back at these coaches from the past, and I know Warrior fans look forward to the season to come under Bob Hadfield.
Dick Trone writes on his reflections and the history of Del Norte High Warrior sports. Trone, who played football for the Warriors, had an illustrious career on the gridiron at Humboldt State University. Trone was head football coach at Del Norte High for a number of years before retiring.