Hazel Park High wrestling coach Dale Hart, center, is pictured at the Oakland County wrestling tournament in December. Hart’s role at Hazel Park involves more than just teaching kids wrestling moves.

Hazel Park High wrestling coach Dale Hart, center, is pictured at the Oakland County wrestling tournament in December. Hart’s role at Hazel Park involves more than just teaching kids wrestling moves.

Photo by Donna Agusti


More than just a coach

Hazel Park High wrestling coach in position to help mentor youths

By: Mark Vest | Madison - Park News | Published January 22, 2018

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Like so many others in his profession, when Dale Hart decided to become a coach, in reality, he took on a much bigger role than merely teaching kids sports techniques and coming up with strategies.

Hart is the wrestling coach at Hazel Park High. But from his perspective, he is also a mentor to some of his wrestlers, noting that many of his grapplers battle through adversity.

“You fight that situation here, trying to get your team good when the kids are dealing with home stuff,” he said.

Before becoming a coach, Hart wrestled for Hazel Park in the 1980s and was a team captain when the program finished runner-up to Class A state champion Temperance Bedford in 1986. He went on to get involved in the landscaping business and real estate investment.

Although the hardships some of his wrestlers have endured can be tough, the role Hart gets to play can be a rewarding one.

“You’re a number of things to these kids,” he said. “It means a lot to me. It means that I’m giving back to the program that helped make me the businessman and the success that I am today.”

Hart’s job can be made even easier when he’s got a solid group of student-athletes to work with.

“I love coaching here at Hazel Park,” he said. “The kids are good; they work hard for me. I have a good group of kids on my team.”

Hart also has some reasons to like what he has seen on the mat.

Joseph Eisho was the champion in the 130-pound weight class at the Oakland County tournament in December. Along with some of his teammates, Eisho has a chance to finish All-State at the individual finals in March.

To achieve All-State status, a wrestler has to finish in the top eight of his or her respective weight class.

“I’d like to see four to five of my guys be at individual states this year, downtown at Ford Field,” Hart said. The individual state finals runs March 2-3.

Hart may have plenty more opportunities to mentor youths and coach some All-State wrestlers in the upcoming years.

“We started our youth program back up two years ago, and that’s doing really good,” he said. “We got about 30 young kids from Hazel Park.”

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