This year, Dale Remsberg promises, will be his last as a football coach.
Remsberg, 67, retired from coaching college football at Butler in 1999. But he hasn’t stepped away from the game completely.
His son, Tad, is the defensive coordinator at Newton High School. So every day, Remsberg drives from his rural Cassoday home to work alongside his son, preparing the Railers for the upcoming season.
If Remsberg does indeed retire from football at the end of this season, it will mark the end of a hall of fame career that started at Butler in 1963.
He was the head track coach and assistant football coach, continuing as the head track coach for 13 years. He would later serve as an assistant to various head coaches.
All along, Remsberg taught physical education courses at the college.
“I really rather enjoyed that,” Remsberg said. “I think you get to know athletes a little better when you get to see them in the classroom as well as on the practice field.”
He continued to work as a football coach until 1991. But even then, he couldn’t stay away.
When James Shibest was brought in as the head football coach in 1996, Remsberg again became part of the program. He wasn’t officially on the football staff, but worked with redshirted players.
That gave him his second national championship. He won the first as an assistant in the 1981 team, and then was a part of the 1998 team’s title.
“A highlight was 1981,” Remsberg said. “But it’s just as exciting now to see Butler keeps winning even though I’m not involved.”
Remsberg said another highlight of his career was coaching his children. Both Tad and Rick played for their father at Butler. Remsberg never officially coached his daughter, Ann. But the two did work on practice track and field at home.
“It’s a privilege to coach your own children,” Remsberg said.
Later, Dale and Rick Remsberg worked together as Butler coaches. Now, he works with Tad.
Relationships with fellow coaches have long been Remsberg’s favorite part of the job. He mentioned his relationships with many coaches through the years, including Ollie Isom, Fayne Hensen, Bob Larson and Shibest.
Remsberg said his closest working relationship may have been with long-time Butler coach Steve Braet.
“We worked so close together on the defense,” Remsberg said. “I have the highest regard for him.”
Remsberg keeps tabs on Butler’s current coaches, as well.
“It’s been a thrill to me to see Troy Morrell back as head coach because he played here, and there are other coaches on the staff who also played here,” Remsberg said. “This speaks so well for the program to have players in the program then be so successful coaching in the program.”
Remsberg also noted the standout athletes along the way. Among them were Olympic trackster Preston Carrington and NFL defensive backs Kwamie Lassiter and Dave Thomas.
“That’s the type of athlete we’ve been able to entice,” Remsberg said. “It may be something people in El Dorado take for granted. We’ve had a handful of Olympians and a number of professional athletes, so by working there as a coach, I’ve had the opportunity to truly work with some of the greatest athletes in the world.
“There’s an old adage that is probably overused, but it’s true – that great athletes make great coaches. I wouldn’t be going into the hall of fame if I hadn’t been privileged to be around a number of world-class athletes.”