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Legendary Germantown football coach Datka to retire after season

Sept. 4, 2010

It's official.

After the conclusion of 41 successful seasons on the sidelines for the Germantown football program, Germantown Hall of Fame coach Phil Datka will retire following the end of the 2010 season.

In a letter to the Germantown administration dated Aug. 24, Datka said: "All of my coaching friends have told me that I will know when "it is time" and I feel, for me, that "time" is now."

Datka began his career in the late 1960s with a one-year stint at the now defunct Frances Jordan High School before moving on to Germantown. During his time in Germantown, he established the Warhawks as a force to be reckoned with in first the Scenic Moraine, then the Braveland and currently the North Shore Conference.

His teams shared or won outright eight league titles and have qualified for the state playoffs 14 times, including state finals runs in 1979 and 1997 and WIAA state division 2 championships in 1998 and 2003. The Germantown stadium was re-named for him in 2003 and he is also a member of the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) Hall of Fame.

Datka, in his letter, effusively thanked all the players and the coaches he's worked with over his many years and especially the late Germantown Athletic Director Jim Justesen, who helped guide him in his early career.

"I want to thank the people of Germantown who gave me the opportunity 41 years ago as a 24-year old, young coach, to coach their children," he wrote. "....I have decided to announce this decision at this time because I believe it is best for our football program. This will enable high school administration to gain a head start on the selection process so that a new head coach can be named as quickly as possible once our season ends."

"I believe that our football student athletes need their head coach to be in the high school building daily and year round, available to help, counsel and mentor daily. It is is imperative that the new coach be in place for the start of the "off-season" program and available to lead the many excellent young players in the football program."

 

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