Denfeld News

February 14, 2012
Duluth News Tribune

Denfeld turns to familiar face for football coach
By Rick Weegman

For the first time in 30 years, Frank Huie wasn’t on a football sideline last fall.

After spending 23 years as an assistant and five years as head coach at Duluth Denfeld, Huie yearned to return to the sport.

“I missed it a ton,” he said Monday. “I saw three high school football games in two years … and it was extremely difficult to sit and watch. I wouldn’t call it terrible, but it wasn’t a pleasurable experience either. It drudged up feelings of wanting to be a part of it.”

As of Monday, he’s back in the game. Huie was named head football coach at Denfeld again, just two years after being bypassed during the school district’s process of consolidating from three to two high schools.

Huie expressed bitterness when Chris Vold and Joe Hietala were selected instead of him — with former Central coach Vold taking the Denfeld job and Hietala staying at East — saying he had been treated poorly by district administrators. But Vold stepped down after last season, and Huie, who had volunteered his time at the junior level in 2010, decided to go through the hiring process again.

“Chris resigning fairly quickly after just two years, there was a feeling in my mind that it was a job I still wanted to have,” said Huie, 50, a physical education instructor at Morgan Park Middle School. “There was still a quest to be part of the community and lead (the team) back to where I think it should be. That was the biggest yearning for me.”

The Hunters were 2-7 last season.

Huie, whose son, Cale, is a freshman at Denfeld, said he didn’t attend any of the Hunters’ games while he was away.

“I thought I could do a better service to the program by doing that than anything else,” he said.

Between five and 10 candidates interviewed in front of a seven-person committee, Denfeld activities director Tom Pearson said. The school had full authorization to make the hire this time, unlike in 2010 when the district handled all re-applications.

“It’s a completely different situation,” Pearson said. “The first time we had three teachers who applied for two jobs. This time we had multiple applicants, some internal, some external. The (consolidation) was unique as far as the district was concerned.”

Pearson says the committee will forward its recommendation to the School Board for approval.

“I know Frank had some hard feelings as any coach would who wanted the position and didn’t get the position,” Pearson said. “So I give Frank a lot of credit for throwing his hat back in the ring. He could have just as well said, ‘I’m not going through that again.’ ”

Huie will be paid approximately $4,900.

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