Dave Dolch was recently inducted into the Maryland High School Coaches Hall of Fame, recognizing a coaching career that spanned three decades. The accolade serves as a high school career cap for Dolch, 64, who made the decision to retire at the end of this school year.
Dolch has been Carroll County’s supervisor of athletics for three years after serving as athletic director at Manchester Valley High School from 2009-16. Before that, Dolch coached high school football at Queen Anne’s and Francis Scott Key, and then at St. Paul’s School in Baltimore. He was also a college coach for the better part of two decades after graduating from Western Maryland College in 1977.
The Times recently caught up with Dolch to talk about why he was ready to retire, what he thinks about Carroll one day getting athletic turf fields, and what he thought was the toughest part of his job.
Q: What went into your decision to retire at the end of the school year?
A: Faith, family, friends, and timing have played out as important ingredients to my decision to retire July 1. Faith has greatly influenced my decision. I want to focus on being a better Christian and all-around man. … Family has greatly influenced my decision. I want to spend quality time with my wife, Kim, who will also retire July 1. …
Spending time with our family and supporting them will be a focus. We have a 6-year-old grandson who was diagnosed with leukemia on Dec. 2, 2017, at The Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. He has been fighting the battles successfully with the goal of total remission on Feb. 9, 2021. We will spend much more time after July 1 helping Bronson (and our daughter and son-in-law) fight the war on children’s leukemia. My father and mother were not formally educated past elementary or junior high school, but so smart in modeling and developing me and my two brothers. As a Navy World War II living vet, I continue to learn so much from my dad. My wife has both led and followed our administration, education, and athletic careers each step of the way. What a great partner professionally and in life since Kim has had so much success in her 42-year career. Our son Scott has had a great athletic and post collegiate career, while our daughter Sally has become a family leader and my hero in how she has handled the guidance of a very ill son (worst phone call that I ever received when she notified us of Bronson’s diagnosis).
Friends have said to me that I will know when it is time to retire — they are right! I know it is time after almost 43 years in education and athletics. I inherited a good county athletic program. I hope that through a great team effort since I have surrounded myself with many special people that I have left [Carroll County] athletics better than I found it.
Q: What was the toughest part of the job as supervisor of athletics?
A: The toughest part is getting so many people throughout the county and the state to work together. I think that I have been able to accomplish several successes for our student-athletes through the development of teamwork.
Q: How much has Carroll County high school sports grown since you’ve been in your line of work?
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A: I started and will finish my career in Westminster. I started almost 43 years ago as a graduate assistant teacher/coach in football and baseball at Western Maryland College (now McDaniel). I student-taught at West Middle School and some at Westminster High under Tom Fisher and Lanny Hinkle.
Earl Hersh, Jim Head, and Guy Stull provided great counseling. My college football coach, Jim Hindman, was an excellent mentor. Carroll County sports has grown so much in my career, from four high schools to now seven. While there have been growing pains from time to time, I believe that we are second to none in Maryland regarding our participation percentages, have the highest academic eligibility standards for sports, have had unprecedented success on the fields, courts, and mats, and have these accomplishments on a modest budget.
Q: Will Carroll County get turf fields any time soon?
A: I am hopeful that we can establish turf fields within the county soon. I think and plan big. Carroll County needs a Community Events Center. A place to hold contests of all types — from football, field hockey, soccer, to lacrosse, with a 300-meter indoor track. There could be an auditorium, gym, and other amenities with built-in security. It would be used by all ages for so many interest and activities.
There have been other relatively rural communities that have seen this vision through to fruition. I know a place(s). Thanks to our CCPS athletic directors for doing the important work of renting and borrowing artificial turf fields during the necessary times of some very inclement weather.
Q: What’s next for you after retirement?
A: Plan to move south, travel, devote more time to improving our physical conditioning. Being a grandfather and a good family man.