BLACKFOOT – Is your teacher the biggest Bengal fan? If you have ever sat in a class or played on a court with Dan Hale, the answer is yes.
Hale has proudly supported the Idaho State Bengals for the last 39 years and, win or lose, rain or shine, in good years and bad he can be found cheering with his family beside him. He was recently awarded third place in the Syringa Wireless “Is Your Teacher the Biggest Bengal Fan?” contest. Hale was presented a check for $150 on the field at an ISU football game.
Hale attended ISU from 1971-1974 and still takes Continuing Education classes from the university. After leaving ISU, Hale operated the Mud Lake Exxon for 14 years during which time he had season tickets. Hale’s whole family would make the 180-mile round trip drive from Mud Lake to Pocatello for every home football game.
“We usually allowed the kids to take a friend,” said Hale’s wife LuAnne. “And for the entire 14 years we tried not miss any home games.”
In 1988 Hale moved to Bingham County where he taught at Snake River High School for four years. He now teaches at Blackfoot High School, where he has been for 18 years.
“He still attends every home football game and every basketball game that does not conflict with his (basketball) coaching schedule,” said LuAnne.
The tradition continues as Hale helps mold second and third generation Bengal fans. With his own two children now grown, Hale can often be found in the stands cheering alongside his grandchildren. LuAnne says one of his favorite things to do is “take the kids down on the turf or court after the game and play ball.”
“I got sick of it 20 years ago,” said LuAnne. “He’ll do it until he dies. He loves it!”