Hansen returns to coach football in Gladstone

GLADSTONE – Jeff Hansen may have left the Gladstone High School coaching ranks for a few years for the opportunity to coach with his brother Jim Hansen at Escanaba, but he never left Gladstone.

Continuing to keep close ties with the Gladstone community and its athletes, Jeff Hansen is now coming back to the Braves as head coach of the varsity football team after he was approved for the position by the Gladstone school board Monday.

“It’s been nice, because I’ve lived in Gladstone for the better part of 15 years,” Jeff Hansen said. “There was never really any separation between me and the players, and I’ve always followed what the program has done since being away from it the past few years.

“You forge these relationships with families in the program, and that doesn’t stop no matter where you go.”

Hansen got his coaching start in the Gladstone football program, coaching the JV program under former coaches John and Josh Mileski, and before that played for Dan Flynn when Hansen was a student in Escanaba.

He said he learned coaching nuggets from each of them, as well as from his brother Jim at Escanaba, when he was defensive coordinator.

“Dan Flynn was a coach of mine in high school and John Mileski I coached for and learned a lot,” Hansen said. “From my brother Jim, I learned a ton when it comes to coaching varsity-level football, and I wouldn’t be the coach I am if not for him.”

Gladstone Athletic Director Matt Houle stressed that the Braves not only have an outstanding coach, but an outstanding person as well.

“He’s always been someone well respected and well loved in our program,” Houle said.

The Braves’ varsity football program endured a 16-game losing streak during the 2013 and 2014 seasons, but showed signs of an upswing last season, winning its first three games under head coach Cody Kangas before injuries took their toll.