Dynamic Dunman Coaches His Field Of Dreams


"Fanatic passionate spark plug consuming and bundle of energy," are just some of the adjectives that Will Dunman's closest friends use to describe him.

Dunman moved to Payson in 1998 from Flagstaff to teach and play in a town that he called his "field of dreams." With him he brought his wife, Lisa, who also teaches school, and his three children Trae, Tyler and Sadie.

"Four years ago, Lisa and I talked about moving to Payson from Mesa," Dunman said. "But, things didn't work out. However, good things come to those who wait."

Dunman, who grew up in Florida, graduated from Northern Arizona University in 1997 and began his quest for employment.

"My first and only interview, I was offered the special education job at Julia Randall Elementary," Dunman said. "Out of two places in the state I wanted to be, Flagstaff or Payson, I got the best of all."

Dunman said Payson is a dream come true.

"It is a great family town a lot like the town (where) I grew up in Florida," Dunman said.

Payson has not only offered Dunman a great place to raise a family and work, it has allowed him to fulfill a coaching dream. He took over as coach of the Payson High School varsity softball team in 2000 after coaching the junior varsity in 1999.

It is in coaching that his "passion" for the game of softball is revealed. The "spark plug" comes to life in a "fanatic" who becomes "consumed" with what he calls the extension of his love for teaching.

Dunman teaches the game of softball and then coaches the girls to dig deep within themselves to perform at their highest level.

"I knew one day I wanted to be a high school head coach," Dunman said. "I love teaching kids in the classroom and on the field."

Coaching a team of emotional teen-age girls has been made smoother by the fact Dunman has had his five seniors since they were freshmen.

For Dunman, watching those five girls, LeeAnne Owens, Britney Boyes, Jennifer Plumb, Brandi Waugh and Brooke McRae, move on in life may be akin to having five daughters graduate high school and leave home at the same time.

"I don't like to think about it," Dunman said. "It will be very hard to adjust to they are good athletes, good students and good people."

His inspiration is not only derived from his supportive family, but from his younger brother, Michael, who died tragically three years ago.

Michael, a police officer in Salt Lake City, was on bike patrol when he was hit by a car. He left behind a wife and three children.

Dunman said Michael's strong work ethic and ability to bring out the best in people is what motivates him.

"Michael loved being a police officer," Dunman said. "He was a good guy and cared for people."

Dunman now looks forward to sharing his life in Payson with his mother, who has decided to move here from Utah.

"Lisa and I have never had our parents around us," Dunman said. "The kids are excited and it will be nice to have her here."

Of course, if she wants to see her son she will have to look for him on his "field of dreams" the high school softball field.


Name: Will Dunman

Occupation: Special Education teacher at Julia Randall Elementary

Employer: Payson Unified School District

Age: 34

Birthplace: Cocoa Beach, Fla.

Family: Wife, Lisa; sons, Trae and Tyler; daughter, Sadie

Personal Motto: "Suck it up or move on!"

Inspiration: Family, church and my brother.

Greatest feat: Graduated with honors from college, and spoke at my college graduation.

My favorite hobby or leisure activity is: Coaching girls softball or watching softball games.

The three words that describe me best are: Committed, Dedicated, Fun-loving

I don't want to brag, but ... I'm the luckiest man to have a loving and caring wife, Lisa, and three great kids.

Luxury defined: Kicking back, watching sports, and playing with my kids.

Dream vacation spot: Oklahoma City for the Women's Softball College World Series

Why Payson? Payson is my "field of dreams."

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