Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Hall of Fame honor is well deserved for Dayton's Sullivan
March 28, 2008
Dewey Sullivan would have had an "aw shucks" approach to his latest honor. This is a big one, though, folks.
The late Dayton High School football coach, Oregon's winningest and one of the winningest high school football coaches in this nation, has been selected for induction into the National High School Hall of Fame.
Dewey, for those of you who have never read a word about the man during his life or since his death in 2006, had a record of 352-84-2 in 42 years as coach at Dayton, with five state championships, 29 postseason appearances in 30 years, including a 24-year streak.
That's pretty good.
Now, he's being inducted into about the biggest hall of fame a high school coach could hope for.
"I've always felt that the folks in Dayton sometimes took the coach for granted," said Dayton principal Roger Lorenzen, who played, coached under and coached against Dewey. "We probably didn't realize what we had until we lost him.
"It's just the swath he left behind him. The swath may not have been very wide, but he left a huge wake behind him."
The induction ceremony for the National Federation of State High School Associations National High School Hall of Fame will take place July 7 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C., as the closing event for the group's 89th summer meeting.
Dewey is the seventh inductee into the Hall from Oregon.
Dewey is the first coach from Oregon to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Former Oregon State basketball coach Ralph Miller is in the Hall of fame, but for his contributions to high schools in Kansas.
The other Oregonians in the Hall of Fame:
Danny Ainge, the former North Eugene standout, NBA All-Star and Major League Baseball player, was inducted in 1992.
Mel Renfro, formerly a football player at Portland's Jefferson, Oregon and the Dallas Cowboys, was inducted in 1995.
Bill Krueger, the baseball player formerly of McMinnville and 13 Major League Baseball seasons, was inducted in 1997.
Steve Prefontaine, the world record-holding distance runner from Marshfield, was inducted in 2000.
Dr. Thad Stanford, an orthopedic surgeon from Salem, was inducted in 2004.
Terry Baker, formerly Renfro's teammate at Jefferson and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Oregon State, was inducted in 2006.
The other inductees of this class, Jackie Brummer, Natasha Kaiser-Brown, Tom Kropp, Karen Smith, Louise Crocco, James Drewry, Warren Mitchell, Tim Carr, Dick Dietz, Jerry McGee and Barbara Seng.
Last year, Dewey was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, and he was inducted into the Greater Pueblo Sports Association Hall of Fame in 2003.
"Dewey, for 42 years, his influence and his being inducted spans 10 times the length of time it did for those guys," Lorenzen said.
"Not just athletes, but families. My family for sure."
You want some bigger names that Dewey's will be mingling with in the Hall? How about Jesse Owens, Jack Nicklaus, Jackie Robinson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Tom Landry, John Wooden and Larry Bird.
That's some lofty company.
"First of all, he was a Colts fan. He would rather go in with Johnny Unitas," Lorenzen said. "He would talk at length about taking his boys back and watch the Colts practice."
Since Dewey passed away a year and a half ago, he has reached a mythical status.
Where once he was a high school football coach — not to mention an educator — the man is now a legend.