EDWARDSVILLE - After 50 years as a coach, teacher, and athletic director, Dave Redden has made a decision to call it a career.
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Coach Redden spent a considerable amount of time at Metro East Lutheran High School and had a significant impact on many student-athletes at each of his stops.
"Along the way, I have coached every level of athletic venue, from pre-school to world-class athletes," he said. "During my tenure at MELHS, I witnessed numerous state qualifiers, All-state performers, championship teams, and individual state champions. My cross country teams qualified for the state meet for six consecutive years. Memories are many, and each one has a special place in my heart. During my stay at Metro, I had the privilege of coaching cross country, track, both girls and boys soccer, a little bit of basketball, helped with wrestling and baseball, and even coached cheerleading for one year.
"I had the privilege of working for some great administrators, especially Dan Kostencki, who allowed me to be creative with new ideas. I expanded basketball tournaments, the “He Has Risen Spectacular” softball tournament, a cross country meet that outgrew itself with over 2,000 participants, night football games in the early days with portable lights, and several other ideas that never quite got there; my track, and lights on the baseball field, right Scott Downing? This all would have come to an end in May 2015, but it didn’t.
"In the spring of 2016, I started coaching track at SIUE Charter School in East St. Louis with my good friend Shawn Roundtree Sr.. I helped get their program started and even saw a couple of state qualifiers along the way. I appreciate the professional respect and appreciation shown by Principal Gina Jeffries at Charter. I then received a call that Gateway Legacy Christian Academy was in need of an Athletic Director, immediately, and someone gave them my name. I had just settled down to a retired lifestyle but was intrigued with this international boarding school and the possibilities it created.
"For six years now I have coached track, and cross country, helped with baseball and volleyball, and basketball on top of scheduling games with almost no facilities. During my time there I have not only coached many amazing athletes, but also played a large part in getting the school on the High School athletic map, both in Missouri and Illinois. I appreciate the opportunity and respect given to me at Gateway from Headmaster Melissa Morrison and Pastor Greg Morrison, and the freedom to finish my career on my terms."
Redden closed with the following comments: "Finally, as I close out my coaching career coaching my grandkids in track at Trinity Lutheran, I can reflect on the numerous athletes I have been associated with within this 50-year stint. The thought of doing what I want to do, following in my father’s footsteps, is simply surreal.
"This has been a tremendous journey. I am reflecting on all the teams and all the tournaments I have hosted, but most of all, all the kids that I have been fortunate enough to get to know and coach.
"I have been influenced by some of the best; primarily Bill Redden, Charlie Raich, and John Flamer. From my dad, I learned you can never be too prepared. I remember spending hours at night helping him prep for track meets, comparing times of competition, with all the matchups. Time well spent.
"From Charlie Raich, I learned you have to have a special mix of seriousness and humor. Too much either way and you lose their attention and respect. And from my college coach John Flamer, I learned that coaching is not just a four-year gig with your athletes. With respect both ways, you are their coach forever.
"I finally want to thank God for the opportunity to coach and guide these athletes. To him be the glory."