Earl Hansen gets a shower after winning state bowl title game in Carson.
Courtesy of Earl Hansen

Hansen retires as Palo Alto football coach

December 3, 2013

Earl Hansen has retired as the Palo Alto High football coach, Hansen said late Monday night.

"I won't be the coach next year," Hansen said. "I'm sort of conflicted. It's time (to retire), but I'm going to miss it."

Hansen won more than 200 games as a coach in 28 seasons. His teams won four Central Coast Section titles, two CCS Open Division titles in the last seven years, made two California state bowl appearances and won one state bowl championship, defeating the nation's fifth-ranked team, Corona Centennial, 15-13 in Carson in 2010, capping a 14-0 season.

Hansen was named the CalHiSports.com state coach of the year in 2010.

He is also the athletic director at the school.

Hansen agreed he's had a ball as coach of the Vikings and in his other head coaching stops. He said coaching his son Peter (the starting quarterback) in 1995 when Paly won its first section title was a career highlight, along with defeating Centennial in Carson in 2010.

"It's been a fantastic run," Hansen said. "I wouldn't trade (my experience) for anything."

Though this year's team finished at .500 (6-6) and went 4-3 in league, Hansen said it was still a worthwhile, enriching experience.

"I've enjoyed all of the kids," the veteran coach said. "That includes this year. They overachieved, and that's always a positive."

A graduate of the defunct Cubberley High in Palo Alto, Hansen first coached at Palo Alto, then coached SLV from 1983 through '88, also coached at Mountain View and then returned to Palo Alto where he achieved his greatest success.

His tenure, of course, includes coaching this year's senior star quarterback Keller Chryst, who is committed to Stanford.

"He's been a pleasure to coach," Hansen said. "He's very coachable - always ready to go to work."

When asked if he has any hobbies, Hansen said "football." Quizzed on whether he would consider assisting anyone in football in the future he said "not next year."

The outgoing coach also said he is not sure how long he will remain on the faculty at Palo Alto.

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