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Hale returns to Gateway football program as defensive line coach

| Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Michael Love | The Times Express
Gateway High School and University of Pittsburgh graduate Shayne Hale returns to his alma mater for the 2013 season and will serve as the Gators’ defensive line coach.

Shayne Hale graduated from Gateway in 2009, and throughout his five seasons as a member of the University of Pittsburgh football team, he always kept tabs on the Gators teams that took the field after his departure from Antimarino Stadium.

Hale again is involved in football in Monroeville, and this time, he is wearing the Gateway black and gold as an assistant coach on the staff of first-year head coach Donnie Militzer.

“The kids are great, and it feels great to be back,” Hale said.

“I am a Gator again. When you can come back to your hometown and coach, it's a great feeling.”

Hale coaches the defensive line.

“A couple of these guys were waterboys when I played at Gateway, and now, they are on the team and hoping to do big things,” he said.

The ball got rolling for Hale to be reunited with Gateway football when Gators defensive line coach Neil Purvis, a player with the Pittsburgh Power Arena football team, suffered a severe back injury and decided he wouldn't be able to coach this season.

Purvis was placed on injured reserve by the Power on July 10.

Hale was working out at Gateway High School, and he and Militzer began to talk and eventually agreed to have Hale join the Gators' coaching staff.

“It's great to have a Gator back home,” Militzer said. “The kids love him. He has a great deal of respect from the players, and he has a reputation from everyone for being a great kid. He's a great role model. Having him around has been fantastic.”

Hale said he hopes to get the opportunity to play football professionally.

“I am training every day and just waiting for a phone call from a team,” Hale said. “I still want to be involved with football. I have a dream to play pro football, and coaching also is a dream of mine. I am enjoying every minute of it.”

Hale concluded his Panthers career in 2012.

He played in 10 of Pitt's 13 games as a redshirt senior, and he made 36 tackles (23 solo).

He ranked second on the team in tackles for a loss with 9½, and three of those tackles were quarterback sacks.

Hale also forced a fumble and recovered two others.

He had the most productive game of his Pitt career in his final game ­— the BBVA Compass Bowl against Ole Miss in January. He made 13 tackles with two tackles for a loss.

Hale recorded six tackles against Temple in his first career start last October.

The Panthers won that game, 47-17.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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