VIDEO: Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame’s Dan Diesel Coached 7 Sports Over 25-Year Career
By Maria Sonnenberg // January 2, 2020
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME SPOTLIGHT
ABOVE VIDEO: During his 33-year career at Titusville, Dan Diesel has coached and advocated for a wide range of sports, from football and wrestling to golf and bowling. He coached seven different sports and no fewer than two sports a year for 25 years.
2016 COACHING INDUCTEE
• Coached Seven Different Sports
• Athletic Director of the Year
• District Football Coach of the Year
TITUSVILLE GRAD, TEACHER, COACH
On a wall at assistant principal Dan Diesel’s office at Titusville High School are proudly displayed picture upon picture of former students. Despite a stellar personal career in sports and coaching, Diesel considers his students his greatest achievement.
“It’s not about winning or losing,” said Diesel. “It’s about making a difference in these kids’ lives.”
Diesel has certainly made a difference in the lives of his students. After 33 years as teacher, coach and administrator at Titusville High School, he has had a positive impact on generations of students.
“I’m now getting the grandchildren of some of my former students,” said Diesel.
Although he is a native of St. Louis, Missouri, he arrived in Titusville as a young space brat whose father followed the space program. Others left. Diesel stayed.
“I graduated from Titusville, met my wife at Titusville and my sons went to Titusville, and I work at Titusville,” said Diesel.
While a student at the high school, he earned nine letters in three years before taking advantage of a football scholarship at Tennessee Tech University, where he lettered in both football and wrestling.
During his 33-year career at Titusville, Dan Diesel has coached and advocated for a wide range of sports, from football and wrestling to golf and bowling. He coached seven different sports and no fewer than two sports a year for 25 years.
“I coached three sports a year for my first 13 years at Titusville,” said Diesel. “I remember many times leaving wrestling and going to baseball practice.”
With the Terriers’ football team, Diesel served as an assistant coach on championship, semi-final and quarterfinal teams, and head coach for four post-season play teams.
When encouraged by wife Barbara’s family to try bowling, Diesel realized that the many young people who enjoyed bowling had no competitive outlet for their sport, so Diesel for years advocated adding bowling to the Cape Coast Conference.
His efforts on behalf of bowling were acknowledged by the United States Bowling Congress and the Cape Coast Conference.
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, COACHING HONORS
This consummate teacher and coach has been widely honored. Titusville named him Teacher of the Year in 1994, while Florida recognized him as Athletic Director of the Year in 2007.
In 2009, Diesel received the Eddie Marrin Spirit of Golf National Mentor of the Year Award. Cape Coast Conference singled him out twice as Girls’ Golf Coach of the Year and he was thrice selected as Space Coast Boys’ Golf Coach of the Year. In 1995, Diesel was named the FACA Class 5A District Football Coach of the Year.
Diesel’s three sons have followed in his footsteps, both in sports and education. Matt, the oldest, is a defensive coordinator at Titusville High School, while youngest son, Scott, is an offensive line coach at Space Coast High School. In the middle is Travis, now an assistant principal at Wolf Lake Middle School in Apopka.
“I’ve led a charmed life, and am very grateful for the doors that just kept opening for me in Titusville,” Diesel said.
“I’ve been very fortunate.”
THE 2020 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 8.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT the 2020 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Induction, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com
CLICK HERE to see all the members of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.