Hessing to retire from classroom, coaching

by Austin Dart / ausdart20@pceagles.org

After 27 years at PC, math teacher and head basketball coach Larry Hessing has confirmed that this is his final year at PC before retiring. Having worked at PC for so long, it is no surprise that relationships are what has been most important to him. “I will miss the daily interactions with students and colleagues,” said Hessing.

Hessing especially enjoyed seeing students grasp an idea. “My favorite thing about being a math teacher is watching students learn, seeing ‘the light go on,’” he said. 

While the specifics are important, Hessing is more concerned with the big picture of mathematics. “Students may not remember a logarithm, but hopefully, they will have a sense of how math can model what’s going on in creation, whether it’s within God’s Creation or in something mankind has created,” said Hessing. “My deep hope is that we will learn to appreciate mathematics as a language of Creation and to use mathematics for good.”

As a basketball coach, he enjoyed the camaraderie with players and other coaches that could last a lifetime. “When you spend a lot of time working together, there develops trust, confidence, and friendship,” said Hessing. “Some of those relationships extend beyond the high school years.”

In hindsight, Hessing can clearly see God’s work throughout the years. “When I look back, I marvel at God’s plan for my life.  From a little hick farm boy to a teacher and coach – who would have ‘thunk’ it? He gave me direction to go into education because I liked school, I liked kids, and I liked sports.  Each school in which I’ve taught and each community in which I’ve lived has been a blessing and has helped me grow,” said Hessing.

Before teaching at PC, Hessing taught at Ireton Christian, Dakota Christian, and Central Minnesota Christian. His time at these schools in addition to his time at PC total 44 years as a teacher. Over this time, he has taught Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Geometry, Trigonometry, Statistics, Chemistry, and Physics.

As a basketball coach, Hessing finished his career at PC with a 456-188 record, according to kniakrls.com. Having coached at other schools, he has 650 wins overall. Led by Hessing, PC has appeared at state tournaments 12 times. He ranks 4th  for having the most all-time tournament appearances of Iowa high school coaches, as well as 8th among Iowa head coaches for tournament wins, with 16. He has received several accolades, including South Dakota Basketball Coach of the Year and multiple Sub-state Coach of The Year awards in Iowa.

Years ago, Hessing would not have thought this would ever happen. “It’s humbling to be recognized by your peers. It’s a reflection of the Lord’s blessings on something I enjoyed,” he said.

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