John Mark Hale, right, receives the Doug Potts Right Hand Man Award from the Missouri Football Coaches Association in 2020.

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A Cabool man will be inducted Oct. 19 into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

John Mark Hale is in his 49th year on the football coaching staff at Cabool High School.

CEO and Executive Director Byron Shive on Wednesday announced the upcoming inductees for the football luncheon presented by the Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company. It’s set for 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at the University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center in Springfield.

Hale has served in numerous roles over the years, from defensive coordinator to offensive coordinator, as well as special teams, wide receivers and centers. Primarily, he has consistently worked with defensive backs and has been a part of 193 wins. He was the head coach in 1995 after a late-summer departure.

Over the years, Cabool has won a couple of conference championships and six district titles. The 1987 team was the most successful in his tenure, as the Bulldogs reached the state quarterfinals and finished 10-2 after falling to eventual state champion Brentwood Academy of St. Louis. Hale also is the groundskeeper, and the school district named its football field in his honor in 2021.

He has received an NFL Hall of Fame/Army Leadership Award and was a recipient of the Doug Potts Right Hand Man Award from the Missouri Football Coaches Association, which inducted him in 2020. He also handles laundry for the football and basketball teams and serves as the team bus driver. A 1969 graduate of Murray (Ky.) High School, Hale was all-conference as a football defensive back and all-district as a catcher. He graduated from Murray State University in 1974.

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4 Comments

  1. A favorite coach for me. They don’t mention, he taught drafting in 79, and let me have a second semester of mechanical drawing instead of architectural. My wife and I have been drawing house plans for a living, 30 years now last April. Huh. CONGRATS coach.

  2. I never went to Cabool but married my wife who graduated from there. We attend many games since 2002. He is so polite and an amazing man whonhas a love for sports and cares about all students. A extremely well deserve honor for who we all know as a living ledgend.

  3. I can’t say enough about Coach Hale. I am from West Plains, home of the Zizzers who were enemies in the 70s thru 90s. In the 90s they had a couple successful years when my son played for the Zizzers and had a great season then the Bulldogs beat us. My son went on to play football with his son in law Rance at SBU. Coach Hale and I have been friends ever since. We have golfed, been scuba diving, been on cruises, visited several Friday and Saturday nights in Cabool. I have known Coach Hale go to people who needed help with anything and most of the time with just a pat on his back. He helps his church and is on several city organizations and at the same time while spending endless hours in the locker room repairing equipment and washing their uniforms so their parents dont have to do it. All this to make Cabool athletics better than before he came there. And is still the best at lining the field after mowing it without pay and was named after him. Proud to call him my friend.

  4. I knew Coach Hale as an Industrial Arts Teacher in the late 70’s early 80’s. He taught me basic drafting, woodworking, and leatherworking skills that won me several I ratings and Outstanding in the Industrial Arts Contests for the large leather pictures he encouraged me to do. These pieces are still prized posessions of mine and on display in my home to this day. I also have a beautiful foot stool, coffee table, lamp, cutting board, and frames for my leather pictures. I was in his shop class the day he almost lost his thumb when a wooden bowl he was working on blew apart. I had long hair and he kept close watch on me around the woodworking machines. He was a mentor, friend and protector. I remember him fondly for the early posative influence he had on my life. Congratulations Coach Hale. You deserve this honor and many more.

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