In 1978 Jeff Hale began his football career at the University of Guelph under Coach Dick Brown. As it would turn out the big freshman from Belleville would end up spending most of his career playing for Coach Tom Dimitroff Sr who arrived in 1979. At 6’6″ and 285-pounds Hale was a towering presence on the football field. Players with that size were an uncommon commodity 35 years ago.
It was actually Hale’s size that helped me to recognize him the first time we met back in August 2012. I knew that Hale was a long-time coach with the Huronia Stallions Varsity team, so when they were playing in the OFC Championship game in Burlington I made it a point of introducing myself to him and chatting prior to the game. It was an opportunity to meet a Gryphon legend I had heard lots about, and I didn’t want to miss it. Anyways, it was not hard to pick out Hale from among the Stallions coaches.
Over his Gryphon career Hale was named a team captain twice – 1979 & 1982, and he was an OUAA All Star in both 1981 and 1982. In 1981 he was also selected as an All Canadian. Following his playing career Hale remained with the Gryphons for two seasons assisting with the coaching of the offensive line. Hale, who now lives in Orillia, has spent the past thirty or so years with the Ontario Provincial Police.
The past two and a half years of Hale’s life have been engaged in a battle of another sort – the fight against cancer. Hale has been through two sessions of chemotherapy and one of radiation treatment. Hale begins another six weeks of radiation in January. As always Hale is still fighting with all he’s got. No doubt he would appreciate the prayers of the Guelph family, as well as words of encouragement from his Gryphon brothers. Hale can be contacted at email@example.com.