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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Southeast Polk's Denny Muller now in his 50th year of coaching

Denny Muller's career involved two stops and two state titles in two different sports.

PLEASANT HILL, Iowa — Denny Muller is a staple at Southeast Polk High School. 

"Between Denny Muller and my wife I don't know that I could make it without the two of them," Southeast Polk girls track and field head coach Chad Willeford said.

Muller showed up at SEP back in 2002 to coach football and track and field. He's been a Ram ever since.

"You have to have something in your life to keep going and right now this is one of those things that I enjoy waking up every day and knowing I get a chance to work with some young people," Muller, now an assistant coach for the Rams girls track and field team, told Local 5.

It is said if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. In Muller's case, love what you do and you just may do it for 50 years. 

"The guy's knowledge is just incredible," Willeford said. "The experience he has, the people he knows, the places he's been, the stories he tells ... he's just a wealth of knowledge."

Muller's career started back in the 1970s at Gehlen Catholic in Le Mars. 

Now in his 50th year as a coach, Muller's teams won state titles in both track and field and football. But his career was never about the wins.

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"If you're doing it for the right reason, in other words to try and get the athlete your working with to feel good about themselves, that's the most important thing," Muller said.

If you need proof, just talk to the people he works with every day.

"He's always been positive, he pushes positively on us," junior Addison Powell said.

"He's so caring and compassionate," Willeford added. "He truly, deeply cares about every individual and wanting to make sure everybody is okay."

50 years of coaching and a positive impact on countless lives, but Muller still remembers how it all started back in 1972.

"The very first day I told the kids, track will be different from this point on," he recalled. 

Just listen to his athletes.

"It's just so reassuring just to know you have that support system," senior Sydney McNeeley said.

Judging by what his athletes say, it certainly was.

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