Klingensmith to Retire at Season’s End
Written by: Brad Strawser on Wednesday, October 24th, 2018
High school football coaching icon, Gary Klingensmith announced his retirement from coaching Wednesday afternoon. He will coach his final game as the Juniata Indians wrap up their regular season at home against Newport.
The announcement came to many through Facebook, as the coach’s wife posted saying he has decided to retire after the final regular season game. Klingensmith has coached fifty years at Juniata High School with a record of 301-213-6 and calls the team his “forever love.”
It is Official! He has told his Family, Coaches, Principal, Players, and Sports Editor! So please All Former Coaches, Former Players and Fans come out Friday Oct 26 2018 to Support the Team and bid Farewell to the Senior Players and to the Oldest Senior on the Squad! As Coach Gary Klingensmith is hanging up his football cleats after 61 years of being involved in football! Eight years as a player, Three years as Head Coach at Gallaudet University, and Fifty Years as Head Coach at his “Forever Love “ Juniata High School Football!! Again please come out to honor Coach Klingensmith he will very much appreciate your attendance! This song has always reminded me of Coach K’s coaching career!
The coach made high school football the go-to-event on fall Friday nights in the county, and brought out huge crowds in the 2018 season to see him earn his 300thcareer coaching victory.
“Football has been a major part of our family’s life. Everything revolved around football,” said Klingensmith’s daughter Kim Hart, “He knew what sports could do for a person physically, emotionally, and as a preparation for life. He coached emphasizing all of those aspects. His life will have a great emptiness without coaching football. He will be able to watch my son and my nephews play, but it won’t be the same. Football will forever be in his blood. It is in all of our blood.”
Juniata College tight end and Juniata High School football alum, Ben Lauver speaks highly of his high school football coach. He said, “He was always dedicated to working hard to make sure we were successful as a team. Not only was he our coach, but he’s always been a good guy, always asked me how I was doing and wanted to teach his players to be respectful and good guys and not only good football players.”
Lock Haven University running back and also former All-state running back under Klingensmith said Wednesday, “I really enjoyed my time playing Juniata High School football. I appreciated all of the time and effort Gary put into coaching.”
Hudson Bowsman, former high school player under Klingensmith talked about the atmosphere of playing under the coach, “He really knew how to balance winning and a fun culture to create a successful team and that’s something you can’t forget if you’ve played for him.”
One sentiment that kept coming up with each person asked about coach Klingensmith was that Juniata football would not be the same without him. His impact on the team, the area, and high school football will last forever, and that’s all a coach could dream of.
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