Confetti was blasted into the air and an array of happy commotion bombarded Allegany-Limestone girls soccer coach Dale MacArthur on Tuesday as his players helped him celebrate joining an exclusive group.
The Gators (2-2) beat Olean, 1-0, placing MacArthur as one of the few coaches to reach 500 victories. He accomplished the feat in his 35th season and has a career record of 500-124-38.
“You never start this thinking anything like this is going to happen,” MacArthur said Wednesday. “You just go into it wanting to do your best and help kids. The thing that always sticks is God has put me in a position to work with young ladies and try to help them in life with athletics. I’ve been blessed with so many players devoted to this sport and are willing to be coached, learn, work hard and play roles.”
MacArthur's coaching success has cemented him as a pillar in Western New York soccer. From 2000 to 2019, Allegany-Limestone won seven sectional championships and three state titles.
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“I’m honored and humbled,” he said. “It’s something that God has enabled me to do ... As long as he gives me strength and energy and the enjoyment, I’ll continue to do it.”
Coaching has given him the opportunity to impact the lives of many. Whether it’s on bus rides, practice sessions, team meetings or actual games, he has multiple opportunities to leave an impression on his players, and they have bonded over their love for soccer.
“My wife often says, ‘Teaching is the gift that keeps on giving,’ ” he said. “Coaching is teaching, and it surely does. You reach kids sometimes you never know you did until years later. It’s a side benefit and another gift besides the enjoyment of just doing it.”