Remembering legendary Versailles football head coach Al Hetrick


VERSAILLES — Storied Versailles football coach Al Hetrick passed away over the weekend of April 28. Hetrick led Versailles to nine State Championship games and won six State titles during his time as head coach.

Versailles football head coach Ryan Jones said Coach Hetrick laid the foundation for what Versailles football should be. He also said it was an honor to get to know Hetrick and learn from him.

“Coach Hetrick was truly a remarkable man and his accomplishments in the game of football and the impact he had on this community will be celebrated for all-times. When you move to Versailles, you can’t help but be inspired by the legendary status of Coach Hetrick and the positive impact he had on the lives of countless individuals and to the village of Versailles. It was an honor to get to know Coach Hetrick since being hired at Versailles. I will cherish our conversations and will always keep with me what little advice I was able to cajole out of a man known for his humbleness,” Jones said.

Hetrick won his first State title in 1990. He wouldn’t have to wait long for his next three titles as he won back-to-back-to-back State titles from 1993-95. Hetrick led Versailles to another title in 1998 and in 2003.

Versailles athletic director Scott Broerman said when you think of Versailles football, Coach Hetrick is right along with it. He left a long lasting legacy at Versailles.

“He was the most selfless person you’d ever meet. He always put his players and assistants first. It was never about him. His wife Vickie and son Mike are the exact same way. They would do anything for anyone. You simply won’t find a nicer family. It was much more than coaching football to Coach Hetrick. His main goal was to help turn you into a great person, a great father. This is what made him special. He was simply able to get the best out of everyone. Mental toughness is an overused phrase and teams don’t just become mentally tough overnight. Teams led by Coach Hetrick were mentally tough due to his high expectations and simulating tough situations through practice. He had that magical fairy dust that many coaches would do anything to have. He left an impact on thousands of people and his legacy will last forever,” Broerman said. “This was tough. Coach meant the world to me, personally. His son, Mike, brought me on staff at Brookville back in 2012 as well. Both are great guys. They don’t make them any better than what they made Coach.”

Even when things weren’t going their way at times, the Versailles teams under Hetrick always found a way to get the job done.

“The Versailles teams always felt like you were going to win, no matter the current situation of the game. In 1995, the state semifinals, we were playing Ironton at Welcome Stadium. Trailing 14-0, we were driving. During a delay in the game, the offense came over to the sideline. As any coach would be, Coach was frustrated with how the game was going. Senior Quarterback, Jason Turner, looked at coach and said, ‘heck of a game, isn’t it coach?’. The Tigers ended up scoring the next 15 points and won the game 15-14. They then went on to defeat Bellaire in the State Finals that year in one of the best games in OHSAA history, 50-44 in double overtime,” Broerman said.

The Hetrick name will always be a part of Friday nights at H.B Hole Field. The Hetrick Field House, dedicated to Al and Vickie Hetrick, stands tall at the end of the field.

Every Versailles team strives to meet the standards Hetrick set for the program.

“Coach Hetrick and his teams created and fostered the expectation of hard work, dedication, and success on the football field that quickly became synonymous with Versailles during his coaching career. He laid the foundation for success and set a standard for excellence that will continue on as long as there is football in Versailles,” Jones said.

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