Former Payson High School football coach Dan Dunn, who has been serving as Mesa Community College's athletic director on an interim basis for the past year, was named from a pool of 40 applicants to become the school's permanent AD.
Dunn headed the Longhorn football program from 1991 to 1995, continues to own a cabin-home south of Payson and was the guest speaker at the Longhorn football team banquet last fall.
At MCC, Dunn is also the head football coach.
During his tenure at MCC, Dunn led the school to the 2004-2005 Pepsi award for having the number one overall athletic program in the country among two-year colleges in the National Junior College Athletic Association Scholarship division. In 2005-2006, Mesa finished second in the competition.
A native of Sharon, Penn., Dunn was recruited by legendary coach Frank Kush in the early 1960s to attend Arizona State University where he lettered for three years while majoring in physical sciences and mathematics. He was named in 1964 to the Western Athletic Conference all-academic football team.
While playing for ASU, Dunn received his first glimpse of the Rim Country during the Sun Devils annual preseason practices at Camp Tontozona east of Payson.
During his high school coaching career, which spanned three decades and included stops at Paradise Valley, Chinle, Gilbert, Red Mountain and Mesa, he was part of winning eight state football championships.
In 1980, Dunn became a math teacher at MCC and joined the football staff a year later.
He served as head coach in 1986, resigned and returned to the position in 2003.
While the news of the former PHS coach being named permanent AD at MCC is good, there's also is a lot of sadness on the school's campus.
Assistant MCC football coach Ron Vick, 66, died last week. Services were held July 15.
Also, services for former MCC and Arizona State University pitcher Doug Slocum were held the same week.
Slocum was an All-American at MCC in 1971 and 17-2 and posted a 13-2 record on ASU's 1973 national runner-up team.
The third annual Home Run Derby, sponsored by the Payson Parks and Recreation Department and the Mazatzal Casino, will tee off at 6 p.m. today, Friday, on the Rumsey II ball field.
Although the registration deadline was July 19, spectators are welcome free of charge.
The defending individual champs of the derby are Nina Ray and former Seattle Mariners player Shane Monahan. Last year, Ray hit 16 home runs and Monahan had 13.
The fence in the men's derby is farther than is the women's.