By John Lachmann
After setting the all-time Kentucky mark for consecutive state championships and winning a record 11 states titles overall in 20 seasons, Highlands football coach Dale Mueller is calling it quits.
Mueller, 59, he will remain the athletic director and advanced placement physics teacher through 2014-15.
“I decided last December that this season was going to be my last season, and I told my family and I told the administration at Highlands that this was going to be last year,” Mueller said.
Mueller began his coaching career with Cincinnati Withrow and Sycamore before taking over the helm at Highlands in 1994. He finishes his career with 309 total wins and a 250-36 record (.874) in Kentucky.
Highlands’ win in the state semifinals at Lexington Catholic made him the 19th coach in state history to reach the 250-win mark. The Bluebirds lost, 37-34 in the state championship on Dec. 7 to finish his final campaign 13-2.
Highlands had set the state record for consecutive championships in 2012 by winning its sixth straight. Mueller’s mark of 11 overall titles leads all Kentucky coaches, as he is one ahead of Louisville Trinity coach Bob Beatty.
“I’m 59 years old and I just don’t have the energy to do the job that I think you should do as a high school coach and still do the rest of my job as a teacher and a father and a grandfather,” Mueller said. “I just don’t have the energy I had when I was 40.”
Mueller also said his family has made tremendous sacrifices over the years due to his schedule, which is another reason he chose to step down.
“My family’s just been wonderfully accommodating to me – both my daughters got married in the middle of the Kentucky dead period – that’s what worked best for dad and football,” Mueller said. “And our Thanksgiving dinner always had to be early in the day because I was going to practice every night.
“I’ve really spent a lot of time around football and my family and friends have revolved their time around football, and it’s just time for me to be able to revolve my time around them.”
Mueller also thinks the next coach can improve upon his standard and he is eager to see what the next coach will be able to accomplish as head of the Bluebirds.
“I loved being the Highlands football coach, but I think I’m going to enjoy not being the Highlands football coach,” Mueller said.
NKY TOP ALL-TIME COACHES
Bob Schneider (NewCath) 345-183-2 - 653
Owen Hauck (Boone County) 258-109-1 - .703
Dale Mueller (Highlands) 250-36 - .874
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Updated through Monday's games.
Covington Catholic’s game plan going into the Region 9 championship final on Monday revolved around rebounding.
Simon Kenton converted on a steal and fast break with 34 seconds left then hit three free throws down the stretch, surviving another scare in…
Matt Wilson may be listed as a sophomore on Campbell County’s roster, but he played like a senior on Monday.
In the Region 9 girls’ championship game, Newport Central Catholic point guard Michaela Ware knew exactly what to do when she got the…
Midway through the first quarter of Sunday’s 9th Region semifinal win against Newport Central Catholic, Covington Catholic head coach…
Poor free throw shooting opened the door for an upset, but Holmes managed to hold off Dixie Heights in a Region 9 semifinal.
Simon Kenton's season ended in a familiar way as the Pioneers fell to Anderson County in the 8th Region title game.
Senior forward Nikki Kiernan made three of four free throws in the final 11.8 seconds, including two with her Thoroughbreds down a point, to…
Prior to Saturday night’s 9th Region semifinal game with Highlands, Notre Dame head coach Wyatt Foust asked senior reserve Avery…