Tabor, faith connect to Shrine Bowl coach’s journey
Tabor alumnae and Hesston football coach Tyson Bauerle didn’t see himself becoming a Shrine Bowl coach for 2019.
He didn’t plan on coaching football at all when he started several years ago.
“It’s kind of funny how your career path goes when you have a chance to look back on it,” said. “My dream job was high school baseball.”
Bauerle expected to coach baseball while teaching history. A wrench was thrown into his plans from the beginning, since baseball wasn’t available at his first job with Sterling High School.
Instead, he became the strength and conditioning coach. Through that position, Bauerle ended up teaching health and physical education, eventually as an assistant with the football team.
However, he hadn’t played football since high school. Bauerle chose baseball at Tabor instead because he thought it was his better sport.
No matter what position he held or which school he worked for, Bauerle’s faith remained a driving force in choosing his direction.
“There is a god, and I’m not him,” he said. “His plan is so much better than my plan.
Through his faith, Bauerle decided to pack up his young family and move to Hesston.
“We weren’t looking to go anywhere,” he said. “We were raising a young family in Sterling and we took both my kids home to Sterling. Then, late in the year a couple years ago, this opportunity showed up and bam.”
In addition to an unplanned career path, the number of fellow alumni surprised Bauerle when he arrived to coach the Swathers.
“Since moving to Hesston, there are a lot of Tabor connections,” he said. “There are a lot of families who are around my age and I went to school with.”
Bauerle didn’t go to high school in Hillsboro or Hesston, but as a Nickerson graduate, the Swathers-Trojans rivalry always made an impact, he said.
Resurrecting the game as a yearly rivalry would be difficult because of tighter league and district play, but he did enjoy seeing Hillsboro do well in 2018.
“It was fun to see that success,” he said. “I’m not saying I’m good at predictions, but I saw early on they were going to be a good club.”
On top of Bauerle’s Shrine Bowl selection, the Swathers saw players selected the past five years, which he was quick to credit to the team.
“That’s really a reflection that we have good players and good assistant coaches,” he said. “That’s the only way I was even able to participate in the game last year.”
The team’s achievements in recent years are something Bauerle plays heavily on when recruiting the hallways.
“If you look at the history of Hesston football over the last number of years, there’s been a lot of tradition,” he said. “There’s been a lot of success in the program.”