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Challenging decision: Al Takle steps down as coach of girls hockey

“It's always been a challenge for me with my employment at Steffes and being able to coach."

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Assistant coach Kira and head coach Takle at the 2019 State Tournament. (Photo courtesy of Al Takle)

The head coach of the Dickinson high girls hockey team, Al Takle, announced his resignation Tuesday, April 13, to focus on his professional career at Steffes. Takle spent eight years coaching the varsity team and took it to the state tournament on three separate occasions, achieving fifth-place ranking in 2018 and 2019.

His loves and passion were divided into three: his family life, professional career and his coaching. Now, for the first time in 20 years, he will be hanging up the whistle and saying goodbye to his beloved hockey family.

“I was talking to one of the coaches and they asked me when did I start thinking about this. And the reality is that it's always been something that I have been thinking about," Takle said. "Time is always a challenge, and how to prioritize your time is something that I value a lot.”

Takle is the product manager for Steffes' electric thermal heating division. With new projects and opportunities emerging across the United States and Canada with energy storage and electrical utilities, Takle had to make the hard decision to put coaching aside.

“It's always been a challenge for me with my employment at Steffes and being able to coach. Over the past year we have some real fun opportunities that are happening at Steffes which increase my workload and not being able to travel at all for what's going to be 18 months or more.”

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DHS Athletic Director Guy Fridley, who holds a lot of respect for Takle, found the news to be difficult after everything Takle has done for the program, being the only coach to bring the hockey team to state three times in the program’s history.

“He is leaving a void because of the impact he did make on a lot of the girls that did go through the Dickinson High School hockey team ... It was a tough phone call because I have a lot of respect for Coach Takle and what he has done for our program," Fridley said. “He definitely made our hockey program better with him as head coach over the years here.”

No decision has been made on who will be taking the position.

“Anytime you have to replace a person that has done a great job is huge, but we look forward to the challenge of hiring a new individual and helping guide that person in terms of going into next year and years to come,” said Fridley.

Takle thanked Dickinson High School athletics, Fridley and Dallas Kuntz, the Midgets boy hockey head coach, his assistant coaches over the years, the athletes that inspired him to be the coach he was, and the parents and their never-ending support.

Related Topics: DICKINSONDICKINSON HIGH SCHOOLHOCKEY
Matthew Curry is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune.
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