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National Award Recognizes Ott Hurrle’s Service to Community

Ott Hurrle '70 with his Power of Influence award. He is the only Indiana high school football to have received the award.

Ott Hurrle '70 with his Power of Influence award. He is the only Indiana high school football coach to have received the award.


The Crusader Community knows head football coach Ott Hurrle as a person of integrity and quality and a longtime servant-leader of students, athletes and colleagues at Scecina Memorial High School. Now we know that others in the football world throughout the country share our regard for the coach as he is the 2014 Power of Influence Award winner, given jointly by the American Football Coaches Association and American Football Coaches Foundation.

Hurrle, a 1970 Scecina graduate, is the first coach from Indiana to win this award since it was initiated in 2002. He was honored during the AFCA convention on Jan. 13, surrounded by family, Scecina colleagues and former classmates and players who drove to Louisville to watch the special ceremony and hear Hurrle’s speech to the gathering. Hurrle said five of his six siblings and 10 nephews and nieces were present at the award ceremony.

“It’s the only national award I’ve ever won, so that makes it pretty special,” Hurrle said. “What also makes it special is that I was nominated by the Indiana Football Coaches Association, and there are so many good qualified coaches here in Indiana to choose from."

The Power of Influence Award was created to recognize a high school coach for his impact on his team and players, as well as the legacy he leaves with the school and community. “This award is not based on wins and losses; however, it is noted that coaches of powerful influence have longevity and success,” according to the AFCA website.

It is the first AFCA award specifically designed to honor a high school coach. Hurrle previously had been a finalist for the award. Hurrle started as an assistant at Scecina in 1974, became head coach in 1988 and then spent three years as defensive coordinator at Butler in the 1990s, later returning to Scecina. He won Class 2A state championships with Scecina in 1990 and '91 and also took the Crusaders to state title games in 2011 and '12.

“Coaching is a noble profession, which I believe attracts people who care, on a daily basis, about the young student-athletes with whom they come into contact,” Hurrle told the AFCA. “It requires the best you have every single day.”

Hurrle has enjoyed much success on the football field over 40 years of coaching and won many awards for football. But the AFCA noted his impact on community in choosing Hurrle for the Power of Influence honor. One of the many examples provided in Hurrle’s nomination by Indiana association is how he reached out to a student who lost his parents. Coach Hurrle provided emotional and financial support to help the student. And he obviously has touched many other lives.

“Ott's success comes as no surprise, and is well founded and earned,” John Gudas, Class of 1964 and former Crusader football, baseball and basketball player, commented on Scecina’s website.

“Coach Ott is such a strong leader and influence on all those Crusaders young and old,” wrote Jim Galbo, also Class of 1964. “His best role models were his parents. I had the privilege of knowing them both as a young person growing up with Ott's older brother. The Hurrles know what service and paying it forward is about. Congratulations, Ott, on a very deserving award. Thanks for leading the Crusaders.”

“Coach Hurrle instilled in me accountability, discipline and great work ethic which has carried over to my everyday life,” Donald Winston, 1995 Indiana Mr. Football nominee for Scecina, told the AFCA.

Hurrle said he is humbled to know his work has left such an impression on the Crusader Community, so much that he’s getting recognized beyond Indiana’s borders.

“I guess it brings back that thought that you don’t think about it while you coaching, but you never know how people are going to remember you,” Hurrle said.


13 comments (Add your own)

1. Al Stilley wrote:
Absolutely, a great tribute for a great coach. It is fitting that he is the first coach from Indiana, especially from a small school, to be honored because he inspires student-athletes to be the best they can be, to be humble in victory, to set goals in life and to live as Christ would want us to live. Proud to say that I have two grandsons at Scecina. Prayers and best wishes from the Stilley household.

Tue, February 17, 2015 @ 11:00 PM

2. Mike Bewsey wrote:
This is a much deserved honor for Coach Hurrle. His dedication to the Eastside and Scecina alone promotes his influence. Thanks for your influence Coach.

Wed, February 18, 2015 @ 8:58 AM

3. Susan Baker Santiago wrote:
Congratulations to Coach Hurrle! What a wonderful and well earned Award! I remember Ott when he was in grade school at St. Andrew's and I use to take him, along with my younger brother, Pete, to Scecina's basketball games. He was a sports enthusiast even then.

Wed, February 18, 2015 @ 9:25 AM

4. Mary Ann Snelson wrote:
Congratulations to you!! What a fitting tribute and humbling feeling it must be to have influenced so many.

Wed, February 18, 2015 @ 9:50 AM

5. Jim Obergfell wrote:
So well deserved! Congratulations, Ott!!!

Wed, February 18, 2015 @ 1:29 PM

6. Denise waidlich wrote:
A well deserved honor! You are such a great role model for the Scecina students and our Eastside community.

Wed, February 18, 2015 @ 4:19 PM

7. Joe Lyons wrote:
Scecina is fortunate to have the good fortune of having two gentlemen over the years that reflect the values you want your children to be exposed, both coached football. Bill Sylvester who I had the pleasure to attend
Scecina during his time teaching and coaching. And Ott Hurrle who has coached and taught two of our grandsons, and we our looking forward to another grandson playing for coach Hurrle . Who is most deserving
of such a prestigious award

Wed, February 18, 2015 @ 9:06 PM

8. Judy Neidlinger wrote:
Congratulations to Coach Hurrle. How great it is to see a person receive recognition for his very hard work and dedication to so many throughout the years. Coach Hurrle always gives more than that little extra and the fine athletes and students that pass through Scecina Memorial High School are finer people because of his tireless efforts. The Scecina Family is blessed to have Coach Hurrle. He is a true leader and friend.

Thu, February 19, 2015 @ 10:40 PM

9. The Whole Foreman Family wrote:
We know that somewhere up there, Bill Kuntz, Larry Neidlinger, Kenney Leffler & many others are so proud of you, as the person you are. Thank you for your many years of leadership for all of the students, faculty & parents of Scecina Memorial High School and Butler University!!

Fri, February 20, 2015 @ 9:27 AM

10. Matthew S. Moran wrote:
I had the privilege of being a part of Coach Hurrle's first year as head coach at Scecina. This was my senior year and only my 2nd year as a part of the Scecina family. Looking back that had to be a tough season for Coach Hurrle taking over after the passing of Coach Leffler. He did so with much class and professionalism. I'm so happy to have been part of that time. I have much respect for you Couch Hurrle. Those were big shoes for you to fill and you did so with much class! And further more you've went on to establish yourself as a Legend in your own right. Keep up the great work!

Fri, February 20, 2015 @ 9:30 AM

11. Jim Doyle wrote:
Congratulations Coach, you are and always have been a class act. The Scecina Community is really
lucky to have you in their fold. Even though i mainly played Basketball at my Time at Scecina, Coach still took the time to encourage me and support me when i was going through a rough stretch
and i will never forget that Devotion he had and still has to his Students, players and Faculty as well as the Community, thanks so much Coach !

Tue, March 3, 2015 @ 8:43 AM

12. Dan Hagan wrote:
Scecina is blessed to have such a dedicated man in the tradition of Bill Sylvester and Bill Kuntz to carry on the legacy and values. I appreciate Ott's continued reaching out to former alumni. Ott's dedication is rare indeed. His Power of Influence Award at the National Football Conference in Louisville speaks volumes.
Dan Hagan - Class of 58

Fri, May 1, 2015 @ 1:19 PM

13. Eugene Humbles wrote:
A well deserved congratulations Ott. I am so glad you are appreciated well beyond Indiana, and for that matter well beyond are time on this earth. You will no doubt become a legacy after we are gone. Thank you so much for your contribution to the youth and your friends. Salud!

Tue, December 22, 2015 @ 12:38 PM

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