Daniel Hardy

Daniel Hardy’s tenacious work ethic is motivated by his father’s legacy and instilled at Valley Catholic.

A Weston Challenge Success Story

As Daniel Hardy ’17 prepares for his third season in the NFL, the legacy of his late father, Reverend Dr. Wilbert Gail Hardy, drives his tenacious work ethic. Hardy is a 6’3”, 250 lb. defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears who is driven by much more than success on the gridiron.  

Rev. Dr. Hardy, may not have had the same physical stature as his son, but the Portland-area civic leader and pastor was a titan of dedication and persistence for his children and his community. Rev. Dr. Hardy dedicated his life to helping people and he made sure that dedication was deeply-rooted in his children and well-tended by he and their mother Ali Battles Hardy ’74.

Rev. Dr. Hardy
Reverend Dr. Wilbert Gail Hardy
Daniel Hardy
Daniel Hardy ’17

Building a church and guiding a community meant that Rev. Dr. Hardy had a vision that he wanted to accomplish and he wanted his family to join him in bringing that vision for their community to light.

That vision helped Daniel Hardy begin to develop his work ethic at a very early age. “There were chores to do each day and dad could always find a job for you if it seemed like you needed one,” said Daniel. “When I reflect on those moments, I see how he ingrained a purposeful work ethic into all of us.”

Rev. Dr. Hardy also prioritized education. He and Ali wanted to make sure their children had every opportunity to be challenged and to ultimately succeed in the classroom. They chose to send Daniel and Alaina ’18 to Valley Catholic School because of the Christian values and Ali’s life-long appreciation for the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon and their school.  

Attending Valley Catholic School instilled another level of discipline into Daniel. A typical day for him started at 5 a.m. Between the classroom, practice, his job, family and church chores and homework, Daniel’s head would typically hit the pillow around midnight. Even though the days were long, Daniel, motivated by his parents’ example, had an energy about him that continuously pushed him in every endeavor he pursued.

Former Valley Catholic head football coach and current VCMS Vice Principal, Nick Hegwood said, “He had amazing energy that was coupled with an unwavering mindset. He was always eager to learn and always pushing himself to improve.”

Daniel Hardy at VC
Daniel Hardy was a standout for VC on the gridiron.

Hegwood encouraged Daniel to focus on his classes and his fundamentals. He saw that pay off in his athleticism on both the basketball court and football field. “We saw his potential firsthand and knew he would take everything he was learning and turn it into great things.”

Daniel credits his teachers and coaches for helping him succeed in sports and in the classroom. “Valley Catholic School provided me more than an education,” Daniel says. “It gave me an environment and community where I could be myself and strive for excellence by pursuing my goals and dreams.”

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Pursuit of both Daniel’s and Alaina’s dreams was not easy. Early in their high school careers, Rev. Dr. Hardy was diagnosed with kidney cancer. It could have been easy for them to slow down and reprioritize their lives, but Rev. Dr. Hardy had other plans. Despite his pain, limited sleep and intense cancer treatments, he continued to get up early each morning and focus on serving others.

Rev. Dr. Hardy’s children saw his fervor for others and it showed them that no matter what they were dealing with in life, they could find a way to push harder, to serve more, and to continuously learn and grow.

The Hardy’s also had the confidence that Valley Catholic School was going to be there for them. “Valley Catholic was one of the biggest supporters of my family,” Daniel says. “My teachers and coaches were there for us. They shared in our difficulties and grief and they made sure we had what we needed to get through that challenging time.”

Daniel and Alaina
Daniel and Alaina at the VC Gala in 2017
The Hardy family
The Hardy Family and Coach Hegwood at Daniel’s Football Senior Night.

As Daniel prepares for his third season of mini camps and the NFL preseason, thoughts of his father and his tenacious commitment to others are never far from Daniel’s mind. Those thoughts motivate him. The foundation built by his parents and Valley Catholic have enabled Daniel to become a man of tremendous energy with an unwavering mindset to pursue his dreams and serve others.

This is one of the many valiant stories of Valley Catholic alumni who are pursuing excellence in everything and changing the world. Dreams such as these are possible with dedication, hard work and the unwavering support of the VCS community.

Join us by contributing to the Weston Challenge. Be a champion for Valiants and help VCS continue its tremendous pursuit of student success stories like Daniel’s.

“If I am to leave a legacy, what do I really want that legacy to be? It’s not going to be a building, and it’s not going to be wealth. I’d like to leave behind youth that are empowered to be changers. World changers.”

– Rev. Dr. W. G. Hardy, Jr.

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