Hale said his decision was one of principle and was irrevocable.
"I'm hoping my leaving will help my successor," Hale said.
The resignation has raised some eyebrows, however.
"It's been tough," Hale said, "because people who don't understand the situation can't figure out why I would leave a program that is doing so well."
The Rams close out their Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East Division season Saturday at home against Mansfield (4-4-1 overall, 2-3 in the conference), then play Delaware (6-2), the ninth-ranked team in Division I-AA, on Nov. 12.
If the Rams, who are 4-1 in the PSAC East, beat Mansfield and at least play Delaware close, Hale should have his first tournament bid in the expanded (to 16 teams) Division II playoffs.
"I'd like to extend the season as long as possible," Hale said. "The last game will be tough."
Bill Manlove's Widener team is also busy figuring out playoff possibilities. The Division III rankings are done by regions, and the Pioneers (7-1 overall, 6-1 in the Middle Atlantic Conference) are tied for fifth in the South Region with Moravian (7-1) and Centre, Ky. (6-1).
The top four teams in each of the four regions will get tournament berths Nov. 14. Right now, Ferrum, Va. (8-0) is first in the South with Dickinson (8-0) and Rhodes, Tenn. (7-0) tied for second and Washington & Jefferson (6-0-1), fourth.
Rhodes and Centre will play each other, and Washington & Jefferson must travel to Ithaca, the top-rated team in the East Region, so if Widener can win its last two games, against Upsala (0-8) and Delaware Valley (4-4), the Pioneers could be headed for their first playoff trip since 1982.
With a 23-21 win at Montclair State last weekend, Trenton State (7-1, 4-0)
put itself in a position to clinch at least a tie for the New Jersey Athletic Conference title if it beats Kean tomorrow night.
Trenton State running back Steve Ware earned conference player of the week honors after his 259-yard rushing performance against Montclair.
Another key performer for the Lions has been quarterback Darin Roberts, who formerly played at Penn State.
After an uplifting 1987 that saw it reach the finals of the East Regional, the West Chester field hockey team, under coach Kathy Krannebitter, was supposed to be rebuilding this season.
But until a 1-0 overtime loss to Penn State yesterday, the Rams (10-7-2) were ranked 12th nationally and had a chance for a second straight NCAA tournament appearance. The loss to 11th-ranked Penn State (13-4-1) probably knocked West Chester out of the tournament. A goal at 5 minutes, 57 seconds of overtime by Marple Newtown product Tami Worley gave Penn State the win.
Philadelphia Textile (11-2-5) joined the NCAA Division I soccer top 20 this week, at No. 16. The Rams, riding a 14-game unbeaten streak, are ranked second, behind Seton Hall, in the Mid-Atlantic Region rankings. The top two teams in each of eight regions will be selected for the NCAA tournament, along with eight at-large teams. The bids will be made Sunday. . . . Fourth-seeded Ursinus (7-6-3) will face top-seeded Muhlenberg (17-2) tomorrow in the ECAC Division III soccer tournament. No. 2 Moravian (14-3) will play No. 3 Dickinson (10-8-1) in the other game.