Three local football coaches honored by the Alexandria Sportsman's Club have at least a couple of things in common: more than 25 years leading teams, and the respect of area fans.

But they are primarily known for different things. One is heralded for his gentlemanly manner. Another is known for his fiery competitiveness. The third is locally famous for his consistent success.

Now, two of them have retired from football. The third has taken on the challenge of starting a brand new team.

The three -- Bill Yoast, Tom Arehart and Bob Hardage -- were scheduled to be honored this week in ceremonies at the Old Dominion Boat Club in Old Town.

"We have the greatest respect for these men. They are some of the finest coaches in the area," said Eddie Crane, first vice president of the club.

Yoast, known among his peers as "the gentleman coach" because of how he treats players and staff, has coached for more than 30 years in the Alexandria public school system.

"There is no finer gentleman I can think of than Bill Yoast. I coached for him my first year and I would leave a job in a second to be his assistant again," said Arehart, who played for Yoast and later was his assistant coach at Hammond High School (now Hammond Junior High).

Yoast, who moved from Georgia to Alexandria in 1960, begin his local career as head football and track coach at Hammond. Under Yoast's direction, the Hammond Admirals football team won the regional championship in 1969 and the track team won four regional championships.

"I would have to say that one of the greatest enjoyments in my life was coaching," said Yoast, 65. "It's nice of this group to honor us."

In 1970, Yoast moved to T.C. Williams High School, where he was assistant football coach under Herman Boone. There, he also headed the track program until he retired after last season.

T.C. Williams's present head football coach, Glenn Furman, also was an assistant coach under Yoast at Hammond. "Bill Yoast was both my and {Arehart's} mentor," Furman said. "He would give you responsibility and let you do it. . . . My success comes from him."

Arehart, known for his fierce competitiveness, was born in the District but raised in Alexandria, where he attended grade school and high school. His first coaching job was as an assistant to Yoast at his alma mater, Hammond, where Arehart played football and baseball before graduating in 1961.

Arehart, 49, attributes his decision to become a coach to Yoast, among others. "I wanted to coach partly because of Bill. The way . . . he instilled values into kids, I wanted to be able to do the same thing," Arehart said.

Arehart later coached football and baseball at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria from 1963 to 1973 before moving to JEB Stuart High in Falls Church, where he was head football coach from 1983 to 1989. He also was assistant coach of the baseball team. Under Arehart's leadership, the Raiders won 46, lost 19 and tied once. They were district champs four times and regional champs once.

After last season, he quit coaching the football team, but returned this year to be head coach of the baseball team.

Eric Ludden, who once played for Arehart, later became his assistant and now is head coach at JEB Stuart, remembers the most important lesson Arehart taught him.

"A kid that finishes his program learns how to be a competitor, not only on the field, but in life," he said.

"I teach them that there is no second place, winning is at all costs," Arehart said. "Young kids need guidance. They need discipline. In being tough on kids, I'm fair to them and treat them the right way. If you kick a kid in the tail because he made a mistake on the field, you've got to be able to hug him and congratulate him when he does something good too."

While coaching the Raiders, one of Arehart's prime rivals was Hardage, coach of the Annandale Atoms.

Born in Alexandria and a graduate of Mount Vernon High School, Hardage coached Annandale High School's football team for 30 years, 24 of those as head coach. Under his leadership, the squad won three state championships.

This year, he retired from the public school system and went to private Flint Hill in Fairfax to head up the new football team there.

"This is a whole new challenge for me," said Hardage, 55. "Starting a team from scratch is exciting."

Furman said Hardage is most admired for leading a very successful team consistently for so many years. The Atoms' record under Hardage was an impressive 198 wins, 61 loses and three ties.

"I just want to be thought of as a teacher and coach," said Hardage. "I guess that's my life devotion. We try to do things the right way with the kids at heart. Winning should take care of itself."