A Decorah coach has decided to hang up his shoes.

Decorah Head Boys Cross Country Coach Dennis Evelsizer has announced his retirement from leading the Vikings.

"Decorah Kids are the best. I will miss working with them and their families tremendously," said Evelsizer. "I would like to thank the administration, fellow teachers and coaches, parents and especially the athletes for the past 30 years of memories. I will treasure all them for many years to come."

A legendary career

For the past 12 years, Evelsizer has led the boys cross country program to unprecedented success at both the regional and state level. He spent the previous 18 years as an assistant. During that time, he led the Vikings to the state cross country meet 10 times, with conference and district titles six times. Under Evelsizer's guidance the Vikings earned a third place finish at the 2013 state meet. They were the 2012 Class 3A state champions and were crowned runner-up in 2011.

Evelsizer also has been honored by his peers by being named Northeast Regional Cross Country Coach of the year three times, as well as State Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2012.

DHS Activities Director Adam Riley said, "On behalf of the Decorah School District, I would like to thank Coach Evelsizer for his 30 years of service to the track and cross country programs of Decorah High School. He has done an outstanding job of using the sport of running as a platform for teaching our young people skills necessary for life after graduation. We all are very thankful for the sacrifices he has made for the young people of our community."