Dale R. Sprankle

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Dale R. Sprankle
Sport(s) Basketball, cross country, football, track and field
Biographical details
Born August 4, 1898
Beach City, Ohio
Died November 11, 1963(1963-11-11) (aged 65)
Albion, Michigan
Playing career
1917–1921 Mount Union
Position(s) Baseball, basketball, football
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1923–1936 Adrian
1936–1958 Albion
Head coaching record
Overall Basketball: 130–122
Football: 91–84–12
Accomplishments and honors
Basketball: 0
Cross country: 10
Football: 2
Track and field: 11

Dale R. Sprankle (August 4, 1898 – November 11, 1963) was a sports coach and athletic director at both Adrian College and Albion College in Michigan. Over the course of his 35-year career, Sprankle won 23 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) conference championships in four sports, making him one of the winningest coaches in that conference's history.

Early life[edit]

Dale R. Sprankle was born on August 4, 1898 in Beach City, OH. He was the younger brother of LeRoy Sprankle, who would also become an athletics icon, most notably in Eastern Tennessee and South Florida. At the age of 12, his family moved to Canton, OH where he participated in athletics and attended high school. Upon graduation, Sprankle completed his education at the nearby Mount Union College.

Coaching career[edit]

In 1923, Sprankle was hired as the director of physical education (athletic director) at Adrian College in Adrian, MI. From 1923 to 1936, he was the head coach of basketball, cross country, football, and track and field at the college, compiling a 55-51-8 record in football and a .516 winning percentage in basketball. In 1936, he left to become the assistant athletic director and head coach of cross country, football, and indoor and outdoor track at Albion College. Five years later, Sprankle was promoted to athletic director, the position from which he served at the college until his retirement in 1958. Over the course of the 22 years he coached at Albion, his teams won 23 MIAA championships which is currently tied for 7th all-time in that conference. In the nine seasons that he coached football, between 1936 and 1946, the team went 36-33-4 and won two MIAA championships. In indoor track, Sprankle coached the team for five years and won MIAA championships in each. His outdoor track team also had great success, winning six MIAA championships over the course of eight years. Sprankle's greatest success, however, came with the cross country team which won 10 MIAA championships in his 12 years of coaching it from 1947-58. In 1958, due to declining health, he retired from his position, but still kept up a close relationship with the school. Dale R. Sprankle died on November 11, 1963 at the age of 65 of a four-year illness.[1] His legacy lives on however. In 1976, the football stadium at Albion College was officially renamed Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium in honor of the school's two greatest sports coaches. Thirteen years later, in 1989, Dale R. Sprankle was officially inducted into the Albion College Sports Hall of Fame.[2]

Notable players coached[edit]

Name Graduation year: sports Achievements after college
Louis Black 1949: cross country, basketball, football Played professional basketball with the Detroit Vagabond Kings (NBL)
James L. Chapman 1956: cross country, track President of West Liberty State College (1970–84)
Theodore E. Hagadone 1951: cross country, track Superintendent of schools in Vanderbilt, Iron Mountain, Milford, and Riverview, Michigan
Lewis F. Moon 1948: baseball, basketball, football, track Played with Cardinal's minor league franchise, AD at Lawrence Tech (1964–89)
Gary R. Noble 1957: cross country, track Rhodes Scholar, deputy director at the CDC, asst. surgeon general in the U.S. Public Health Service
Raymond A. Wauthier 1946: basketball, football head baseball and basketball coach at Iowa Wesleyan College (1946–48), head baseball and golf coach at Kansas State (1949–86)



  1. ^ The Holland Evening Sentinel, Tuesday, November 12, 1963, Holland, Michigan, United States Of America
  2. ^ "1989 Inductees". Albion College Sports Hall of Fame. Albion College. 9 Aug. 2008. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-07-06. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  3. ^ Albion College Sports Hall of Fame. Albion College. 9 Aug. 2008. http://www.albion.edu/sports/halloffame/.asp