A lifetime of coaching

—Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Adri Sietstra Former Webster City High School football coach Dick Tighe speaks with former player Gale Zellweger Thursday night at Kendall Young Library. Tighe was at the library to sign copies of his new book, “Coach Tighe: 63 Years of High School Football.”

Long time Webster City football coach Dick Tighe dedicated 63 years of his life to the game and individuals who played for him.

In recognition of his life’s work, Tighe recently wrote and published “Coach Tighe: 63 Years of High School Football.”

This work focuses on the game of football and other events that shaped his life.

“Some people suggested that since I had been at it such a long time that I should write a book,” said Tighe.

Over 60 people visited Kendall Young Library Thursday evening to hear Tighe speak about his new book and to get one personally signed.

“It was very gratifying and I was thrilled that many people showed up,” said Tighe. “It was fun talking to them.”

Individuals of all ages have been inspired by Tighe.

Trey Shannon, 14, came out to the event to see Tighe and get one of his football camp shirts signed by the former coach.

“I’ve been to many of his camps and he’s taught me a lot about football,” said Shannon.

Gale and Lori Zellweger traveled from Scranton for the signing. Zellweger is a retired teacher and former player of Tighe’s.

Zellweger played for Tighe from 1967 to 1969 in Webster City.

“He was tough on us but it was a way to grow up. Dick did a wonderful job,” Zellweger said. “All of us that have played for him don’t have anything negative to say. Dick is a good man.”

Zellweger went from being one of Tighe’s players to a coaching opponent as the years went by.

“I coached the Clarion-Goldfield team for a couple of years and he and I went at each other,” said Zellweger. “I was surprised he didn’t name the book 27 belly because, for a long time, I thought ‘that’s the only play he knew’.”

Zellweger credited Tighe and other teachers in the district at the time for their enthusiasm in the classroom and on the field.

“All great, enthusiastic teachers,” said Zellweger. “It shows when you look at the classes of 1968 through 1972.”

Zellweger noted Tighe taught in the classroom the same way he coached on the field.

“We took basics and fundamentals and practiced them a lot,” Zellweger said.

The longevity of Tighe’s career was remarkable to Zellweger.

“Not too many people do anything for 63 years. Let alone have it be on a football field with a bunch of teenage boys,” Zellweger said.

“He’s an icon for Webster City,” said Zellweger. “There are a lot of people that respect him a great deal and I am just honored to have played for him.”

Tighe expressed his thanks to the community and the impact they have had on his career and life.

“I thank all of the Webster City people and all those that supported me for 31 years. Especially in coaching, it’s hard to keep a job that long.”

“I was glad to raise my family in this community,” Tighe said.

Individuals who wish to purchase the book can call (515) 297-1791 or write to Tighe at 105 Southfield Dr., Webster City.