Airman gets pay then gives it away

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Taylor Bourgeous
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Tech. Sgt. Noel Hachtel is so passionate about basketball that any reward beyond giving back to others is unnecessary.

The 92nd Logistics Readiness Squadron training and validation office NCO in charge, has been a volunteer coach for as long as he can remember, and recently received a reward he was not expecting.

"Last year in November, I originally volunteered for the girls head basketball coach position," Hachtel said.

The position for the girl's team had been filled, but Hachtel was told if he still wanted to coach he could co-coach the varsity team and head coach the freshman team.

His love for basketball guided him to take the position as a volunteer ... or so he thought.

"The school called in early December and said they had a check for me," Hachtel said. "I was shocked, to say the least."

Instead of keeping the money for himself, he used the money to buy brand new basketballs for each team member, new warm-up uniforms, t-shirts and, on occasion, lunches during away games.

"We would play little games in practice to motivate them, I would have cheeseburgers for whoever made a basket or could make a certain shot," Hachtel said. "I strictly thought I was volunteering, and when I found out I was getting paid I decided to give the money back to the kids."

According to Justin Blayne, one of the Medical Lake coaches, most coaches wouldn't have done what Hachtel did, and he is clearly about helping young people succeed and providing opportunities do so.

One of the team member's parents said Hachtel expects a lot from his players and he teaches through example with unending patience. They said mutual respect is evident on the court and the kids honor and respect his decisions. In turn, the players admire and work incredibly hard for their coach.

Hachtel was spending at least 18 hours a week with the teams, not including the practice and game prep, in addition to his full-time Air Force job and family responsibilities.

"Noel's unselfishness has impacted the team and players in a positive manner," Blayne said. "Put simply, everyone who interacts with him understands that he cares about helping young people grow as basketball players and people."