Lee Blankenship calls Kyle Hale, the Broncos’ new secondary coach, an “overcomer.”
Hale, a former Oklahoma State University walk-on, has overcome much during his life— on and off the football field.
Hale’s positive attitude and playing and coaching experience are what Mustang High School’s head football coach appreciates most.
“I am fired up to have coach Hale on our staff,” Blankenship said. “He is an outstanding football coach and an even better man.”
Hale was born to a mother who was addicted to drugs and abused alcohol.
His birth left heroin, cocaine and alcohol coursing through his veins, causing motor-skill issues and physical weakness on the left side of his body that resulted in difficulty walking as well as developmental issues.
Hale went into foster care and had to be tested regularly for AIDS because of his biological parents’ addictions.
By second grade, specialized instruction enabled him to overcome a developmental disorder in which his brain didn’t register what his eyes were seeing.
Hale was adopted at age two by Don and Peggy Hale, who had been fostering him since he was an infant. Being part of a loving Christian family helped him overcome many obstacles.
Now 31, Hale himself is a family man. He and wife Kelsey, who has taught fifth-grade the past three years at Mustang’s Meadow Brook Intermediate School, have two children.
The pair met at OSU and have been married eight years. Their sons are Kason, 4, and Kolton, 2.
“I was so excited and ready to get to work,” Hale said after Blankenship hired him. “I felt so lucky to have an awesome opportunity like this to help people and coach football.”
Hale said he will teach psychology at Mustang High School, and of course direct the Bronco defensive backs.
“Seeing what coach Blankenship is doing from the outside, the way he approaches coaching and loves kids,” Hale said has him thrilled about the future.
“The way he and the rest of the coaching staff impacts the community and football with a servant mindset. All of it was so inviting and something I wanted to be a part of.”
Hale, a Broken Arrow High School product, said he always dreamed of playing Division I football but was continually told he wasn’t good enough.
Former University of Oklahoma offensive lineman Bubba Burcham, who attended church with Hale at First Baptist of Broken Arrow, helped convince him to try out at OSU. Burcham also had been a walk-on.
So after attending O-State for two years, Hale tried out and caught the attention of Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeForrest, who said he got tired of watching Hale beat his players in practice.
Hale, a safety, played so well on the scout special teams that he won a full scholarship the last two years.
He played on all of the Cowboys’ punt/kickoff and coverage teams.
During his senior season, Hale was selected OSU’s Special Teams Player of the Year. So, how did he become a special teams’ ace for the Cowboys?
“Work ethic,” Hale said. “I wasn’t always the fastest, strongest or biggest, but I would show up ready to compete every single day on every single rep.
“I controlled my attitude and my effort every day by how I carried myself in a positive way no matter what was going on around me.”
What will Hale teach the Bronco defensive backs?
“I played with relentless emotion and love for the game and my teammates,” he said. “Those were my trademarks as a player. I try to exhibit and teach those to my kids every day in the classroom, on the field and in my life.”