Wisconsin Sports

Aquinas Football Coach Dan Coughlin retiring after 41 years

LA CROSSE, Wis. - After 41 years, Aquinas football coach Dan Coughlin tells News 8 that he is retiring.

"I love coaching, I love the kids, I do have a lot of energy, that's why I think it's the best time to retire," he said.

It's just time.

"I think one of the things that had a big affect on me was the Joe Paterno story, guys hanging on, and hanging on, and hanging on, and I just decided that that was not going to be me."

He made the decision to retire a year ago, but didn't want the 2012 football season to be all about him.

"I had been thinking about it for a year and a half, so I had already made my decision that I was going to do it."

Coughlin grew up on La Crosse's north side. He graduated Aquinas in 1968. Four years later, in 1972, Coughlin began coaching the Blugolds' JV team. 41 years and three state titles later, Coughlin has memories for a lifetime.


"We're a catholic school so we get to pray, and so three times I've been able to kneel down on the big 'W' and pray. So that's been important.

But that, Coughlin said, is not what he wants his legacy to be.

"If you ask me my win loss record, I couldn't tell you my win loss record," he said. "My dad worked real hard and I just tried to work real hard every day. Just tried to do everything the best that I could do it no matter what."

So what's next for Coughlin?

"I don't know . TV! I don't know.

"I'm going to miss the Friday nights, I'm going to miss the game preparation and I'm going to miss interacting with the guys. But I'll find something."

Coughlin said he will not be a part of the search committee for the school's next head coach.

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