Hulne: Gimbel has created a football legacy in BP

Published 9:33 pm Monday, September 4, 2023

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Sometimes a coach sticks around for so long that they become synonymous with the program. Blooming Prairie head football coach Chad Gimbel is one of those coaches.

Gimbel recently won his 200th career game with the Awesome Blossoms and it’s a well deserved milestone for a leader in every sense of the word. Gimbel’s teams are always prepared, they always play hard and they always respect the game.

He and his long-time assistant coach Matt Kittelson have developed an uncanny system of always being able to produce quality quarterbacks in a school that has hovered back and forth between Class A and Class AA over the last couple of years.

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Beyond skill development, Gimbel has proved to be versatile and he isn’t afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to putting his players in a position to succeed. The Blossoms are well known for adding a wrinkle or two in their offense every year that keeps defenses guessing on what the next change will be.

Most of all, Gimbel has always placed an emphasis on the importance of the offensive line. He knows the battles up front are ultimately what decide games and he’s always stressed how crucial the big guys up front are to his team’s success.

BP has been a perennial contender to play in the section title game under Gimbel and the school captured its first ever state title in the fall of 2019. But his impact goes well beyond winning.

Gimbel has focused on keeping his players disciplined, while also allowing them to enjoy their summer vacations and play in other sports, without feeling the need to be focused on football at all times. Some of BP’s best players over the past decade or so have been multi-sport athletes and some have excelled at other sports.

Last, but not least. Gimbel is a football coach through and through. His gruff voice and no-nonsense approach during practice commands the respect he needs from his team, which his celebrated him in many ways – including the occasional Gatorade bath after a big win to go to state.

I was once in BP for a story during the school day and I glanced in the computer lab and saw Gimbel teaching one of his classes. I remember thinking it was like seeing Superman without his cape on in the form of Clark Kent.

Gimbel isn’t actually Superman, but he’s helped turn BP into a super football town.