Doerffler reflects on 40-year career as retirement nears

June 28, 2017

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Dean Doerffler admits that leaving Concordia Lutheran High School will be a difficult transition.

“I really haven’t thought a whole lot about it,” Doerffler, who will retire Friday as Cadets’ athletic director, says. “Concordia has been a part of my life in athletics, has been a part of my life forever.”

Doerffler, a 1973 graduate of Concordia, has seen the Class 3A school’s sports grow by leaps and bounds since returning to his alma mater in 1999. State championships in football (2016), volleyball (2014) and girls basketball (2010 and 2012), as well as 4 state runner-up teams, have dotted the Concordia landscape over the last decade.

“At Concordia, we’re blessed because we have every sport at every level available to every student-athlete,” he beams.

Doerffler’s teaching, coaching and administrative career dates back 40 years. He started as a baseball coach and business teacher at South Side High School in 1977.  After 5 years, he moved to Northrop High School, serving as an assistant football coach to his hall-of-fame brother, Buzz; and replacing Buzz as head coach in 1984. Dean Doerffler would serve as Northrop athletic director before becoming Concordia’s AD. He would add football coaching duties from 2001 to 2009. The Cadets won 2 sectionals and 2 regionals during that time.

Doerffler fondly remembers coaching his two sons, Jason and Ryan, and watching his daughter, Angela, win a basketball state title and the Mental Attitude Award at Memorial Coliseum in 2010.

“I went to school here. My whole family went to school here. I just hope when you hear (the Doerffler name), you associate individuals who have tried to do things the right way,” he says.

In retirement, Doerffler says you will find him back on the Northrop sidelines helping Jason, who enters his fourth season as Bruins head coach. He also plans to spend a lot of time with his new twin grandchildren.

With Doerffler’s retirement, Concordia has elevated football coach Tim Mannigel as new athletic director. Mannigel will still coach the football team.

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