OSCODA — The chapters of Dan Pippin’s storied coaching career are getting more and more interesting. Earlier this month, the 1986 Oscoda graduate was named the new head coach of the Hungarian national team by the Hungarian American Football Federation.
“For me, this is the greatest honor I’ve ever had,” Pippin said. “Being able to lead a national team is pretty cool. It’s extremely humbling that someone has such confidence in you to lead their country’s team. It’s an honor for people everywhere I’ve been.
Highlights from those places include being head coach at Tawas Area from 1996 to 1999. From there, he had successful stints at schools in South Carolina, South Aiken, and North Augusta. He is currently in his second season as Lazio Ducks coach in Rome, Italy. Last fall, he also served as offensive coordinator for Rochester Community and Technical College in Minnesota.
“They are the reason I have this opportunity,” Pippin said. “They bought into what we were trying to do and that made it possible for me to be successful and to have this opportunity. I’m done with (the job in Minnesota) and came back here to Italy and it just opened up, I heard about it so I contacted them and they got back to me right away. From there it was like a normal interview process, and a very good thing to go through.
Football is certainly a way of life for Dan and his wife Laura. He will certainly have to prove it as he will simultaneously maintain two high-level head coaching positions.
“It’s fun,” he said. “Our seasons are different. (In Italy) they end the first week of July, then the European Championships start in October. We will be going and going to Budapest on our weeks off.
So while he’s been grooming one team for most of his season, he’ll be grooming another before things even get started.
“I’m watching a movie for our next opponents for the Ducks and I’m watching a movie of national team players we’ve had before and guys the coaches should try and we’ll have at camp in early August. “, Pippin mentioned. “That’s a lot of movies to watch.”
In his early days as a coach, Pippin faced teams like Ogemaw Heights, Standish-Sterling and Oscoda. He will now face France and Austria.
“Both of these countries have a lot of players, so we need to put the best people possible on the pitch,” he said. “It’s amazing, you wouldn’t think a few years ago this stuff existed. I watch the games and the fans are amazing and the venues are packed with probably 5,000 people. They say the sport is growing there and hopefully I can do my part to help it grow.
After attending school in Oscoda, coaching in Tawas, South Carolina and Minnesota and now working two jobs overseas, his collection of coaching hats is getting quite large.
“I grew up in Mikado and now I’m going to work in Budapest, Hungary, so that’s pretty cool,” Pippin said. “I really appreciate the guys, especially those at Tawas, Charles Reddick and Dick Look (administrators when he was hired) who gave me the opportunity to coach. Without them this opportunity wouldn’t be here for me. This is a big problem for me.