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Doerffler to retire after 18 years at CLHS

March 23, 2017

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — After 18 years of dedicated service to Concordia Lutheran High School, Dean Doerffler will retire at the end of this year.

Doerffler has served as Concordia’s athletic director since 1999 with nine of those years as the head football coach. This summer, he will retire after 25 years in the profession and 40 years in education.

A 1973 graduate, he came to CLHS in 1999 at the request of current athletic director, Neil Reincke, from his job as the athletic director at Northrop High School. He had served as the athletic director and coach there for 17 years and as a teacher and coach prior.

And since that time, he has devoted many long hours to the profession, overseeing championship programs and many proud student athletes.

“It’s things like that that really stick with you,” Doerffler said, recounting the years of memories. “I’m just lucky and blessed to be a part of some of that.”

And it wasn’t an easy job. Along with a large program and long hours, within a few years of taking the position, changes were made for football, and Doerffler was asked to lead the team.

With the support of the administration, he set to improving the program. He took a summer, rewriting plays and handbooks. He got new equipment, new staff and even a new stadium. 

“The challenge of coaching at Concordia was a big one,” he said of the comparably small football program for the area. “We put the program in a position that we could be competitive year in and year out.”

By his second year coaching, they made it to semi-state (2002) and then again in 2007. 

“Those were really cool experiences coaching wise,” he said.

As he reflected on his time as athletic director, his proudest moment was establishing the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010. Today, it has welcomed 62 members.

Concordia Lutheran High School, located at 1601 St. Joe River Drive in Fort Wayne, Ind., was founded in 1935 as a private, co-educational Lutheran high school open to students of all faiths and backgrounds. With Christ at the center, Concordia continues to pursue educational excellence that equips individuals for lifelong learning and service as disciples of Jesus Christ. Learn more at