By Mike McClure

Despite retiring as a teacher and athletic director last spring, David Hearn is back as the Delmar varsity football head coach this spring. Following a disappointing end to last season, which included three forfeits by opposing teams due to COVID, Hearn and his coaching staff are back for at least one more go around.

“I debated it around a bit,” said Hearn. After being retired for month, “I told Judy (his wife) I think I’m going to have to do it again.”

Delmar varsity head football coach David Hearn talks to his players during a break in the action at practice earlier this week. Hearn retired as a teacher and athletic director at the school last spring but he is back as the Wildcats’ football coach this fall. Photo by Mike McClure

Hearn is returning for his 30th season at the helm of his alma mater and his 40th year of coaching. He is looking to follow in the footsteps of upstate coaches like Butch Simpson, who coached for 30 plus years. Simpson told Hearn that he’ll know when it’s time to walk away.

Hearn’s motivation to return came from his players and his assistant coaches.

“They’re enthusiastic, they care,” he said of the players.“The coaches work their tails off.”

“I feel good, I’ve got plenty of energy,” said Hearn, who no longer has to work during the day time, allowing him to focus on football during the season.

He had an opportunity to watch his grandkids play Little League over the summer and plans to go see his son and his family in Hawaii in December.

Hearn and his veteran coaches didn’t want to end their tenure on a sour note. Last season the Wildcats went 3-1 but three forfeits by opposing teams kept them out of the state tournament.

“It was really hard on us. The coaches said ‘We don’t want to leave on that’,” Hearn said.

Last year visiting fans were not allowed to attend games and coaches were unable to scout opposing teams in person.

All of Hearn’s coaches are back from last season. The veteran coach plans to take it one season at a time.

“I’m looking forward to the games, but these days (pre-season practices) are fun, seeing them learn,” said Hearn.