As many of you know, football head coach Gary Klingensmith has announced his retirement from coaching, This last season, his fiftieth at Juniata, led him to his 300th career victory. Klingensmith, a native of Western PA, began his coaching tenure at Gallaudet University, a college for those who are partially or fully deaf. After a few years there, Klingensmith came to Juniata, for the 1968 season. Klingensmith is also the reason that Juniata now has a prospering track & field team, which he began at the school in 1977, and coached for 30 years until he turned the reins over to his daughter, Kim Hart. Klingensmith has been able to make strides in Juniata football and track, leading the teams to multiple Tri-Valley League, District III, and District VI championships.
A few years ago, Harrisburg affiliate FOX43 did a piece on Coach Klingensmith. Throughout nearly all his life, he had been unable to hear almost anything without trouble. However, he was recently given cochlear implants, which allow him to hear normally. Talking to his daughter Kim, she told of how after he got them,her father asked her to turn the TV down. In reality, it was really her and her mother talking in another room.
Coach Gary Klingensmith has made a lasting impact on 50 years of JHS students, and his influence will continue on for years to come, but now from the stands rather than the sidelines. In a lasting, bittersweet moment, the school district board decided to rename the stadium in his honor to “Dietrick Field at Klingensmith Stadium”. In the near future, you can find an interview with the coach on our school’s Fusfoo page, touching on some of his coaching memories and pastimes. To Coach Klink, we wish you a happy retirement. #WeAre