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Two storied DHS coaches honored in retirement ceremony

Dickinson celebrates Schobinger and Michaelson in teary tribute

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Retirement ceremony for two of Dickinson High School's long serving coaches was on Sunday, May 15.
Amber I Neate / The Dickinson Press
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Coaching has been more than just a career for Dickinson High School’s athletic coaches Jay Schobinger and David Michaelson, who will be retiring at the end of the 2022 academic year. Family, students, friends and athletes gathered at the Henry Biesiot Activities Center to celebrate the coaches’ careers and unforgettable milestones at DHS on May 15.

“While I was organizing this event, I looked through a lot of year books and I was taken away by how many lives they impacted through academics and athletics,” Dakota Hayes, a former DHS athlete and current track and field coach, said. “It truly was countless.”

Schobinger and Michaelson were both inspired to pursue coaching careers as a direct result of their own remarkable coaches as young adults. Both would dedicate decades to DHS athletics and in so doing seek to help students become the best versions of themselves.

Schobinger coached volleyball and track, while Michaelson coached wrestling. Together, they coached football. The duo enjoyed the thrill and unpredictability of every game while cherishing most the unique relationships built with each student.

“Every kid needs something different, or gets something different, from a coach,” Schobinger said. “To me, that’s the challenge and the exciting part. You never know who you are to somebody.”

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Jay Schobinger began coaching for Dickinson High School in 1991.
Amber I Neate / The Dickinson Press

One memory Schobinger says he will never forget was kneeling down next to a pole-vaulting athlete who had a bad accident during a meet.

“I just held him while his body was basically shutting down and convulsing,” Schobinger said. “There was a bond that happened because of that. That little bit of tragedy is a forever bond.”

Similarly, Michaelson says he regards many of his athletes as if they were his own sons and daughters. He says he hopes he inspired some of them to pursue careers in education or coaching.

“I can't put into words how much this event means and that (Dakota) put all this together,” Michaelson said. “This recognition speaks volumes of the Dickinson community and that is why I stayed for 40 plus years.”

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David Michaelson taught and coached at DHS for 39 years.
Amber I Neate / The Dickinson Press

“It really means a lot to see somebody drive five or six hours to be here,” Schobinger added.

Upon retirement, Michaelson plans to take on the role of driving instructor at his own local driving school.

“I love it because I am still going to be working with young drivers, and that is a lot of fun,” Michaelson said.

He also plans to spectate and occasionally announce DHS volleyball, basketball and wrestling events.

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Schobinger will begin his new career as an insurance adjuster and is excited to see what adventures the future brings.

“We’ve been blessed to have the kids we coached and the opportunity to work with some of the best coaches,” Schobinger said.

Although the final chapter of their coaching careers have reached their bitter-sweet ends, both men assured the gathered masses honoring them that their love and support for DHS athletics is never ending.

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