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Jose GarciaMultimedia Journalist/Historian firstname.lastname@example.org
To spend time with family, Xavier's McHale stepping downOct 22, 2012
Besides being one of the state’s premier high school volleyball coaches, Tim McHale also is known for his emotional speeches.
There’s usually a bet or two on when McHale’s tears will start flowing during a speech to his team. But on Wednesday, the day Xavier’s players learned that McHale is stepping down after this season, the coach even surprised himself by keeping his emotions in check.
It helped that his good friends and assistants, Tony Oldani and Susan Contreras, weren’t directly facing McHale as he talked to his players after Wednesday’s match.
“If I would have seen their faces (Oldani, Contreras), there would have been more waterworks for sure,” McHale said.
After 23 years at Xavier — 12 as the head coach — and more than 400 wins, McHale is stepping down for a great reason: his family.
McHale’s family (wife Sara and children Annika, 13, Kellen, 8, Delaney, 4 and Keegan, 2) will get to see him more.
“They (family) have allowed me to do this (coaching) all these years,” McHale said. “They deserve medals of honor for dealing with me and my crankiness. Now they get to deal with their happy dad.”
McHale was expecting to tell his players that he was retiring after this season was over.
But he knew keeping that a secret would be tough once he saw family members and friends attend McHale’s final regular season match as Xavier’s coach. Oldani informed Xavier’s players about why so many people attended McHale’s final regular season match.
After McHale talked to his players, one of McHale's friends, Barry Hayes, then said, “Win it (state title) for Tim.” But a state title send off will be tough for McHale.
Horizon, coached by McHale’s friend Valorie McKenzie, is the state title favorite this year in Division I. Plus, Gilbert, Mountain Ridge and Hamilton also are stepping up their game as of late.
McHale and his players need to orchestrate a great run for McHale to win his 7th state title.
“It’s never been about one person here (Xavier),” McHale said. “We want to go as far as we can and to win.
“Getting to the semifinals would be great. But we are going to have to battle.”
McHale won’t exactly say goodbye to Xavier volleyball after this season.
He’ll continue to be an assistant coach for the program’s beach volleyball team. But what he’s currently looking forward to is the state tournament and spending more time with his family.
“This is my favorite time of the year,” McHale said. “I walk outside and you can smell the fall coming in. For me that is state tournament time.”