Rural Missouri - December 2010 - (Page 18)

Coach After a coaching career that spanned four decades, Hugh Dunn is still a major figurehead in Macon Hugh and his wife, Peg, share a laugh with memb matter where the couple goes around town, they Hugh Dunn mows the Macon High School football field in preparation for a pair of middle school football games. by Kyle Spradley kspradley@ruralmissouri.coop help of his wife, Peg, is involved with In 1945, at age 25 he returned to many organizations supporting the Missouri Valley where he played footnorthern Missouri town. ball and ran track for four more years Before Hugh came to Macon in despite what others would consider 1950, the Harrisonville native was a disabilities. As an All-American runstandout football player at Missouri ning back, blocking back and quarValley College in Marshall. terback, Hugh won national awards After his first season in college, he including the Williamson Trophy, entered the Army in 1942. Missing presented to the most valuable small one eye from a childcollege player in the country. At hood accident, Hugh quarterback, he led the Vikings to • was placed into lim41 consecutive victories and two Macon ited service. However, it bowl game wins. Hugh graduwasn’t long before he left ated from Missouri Valley in stateside and transferred to 1948 and then attended the front lines in Europe. the University of Missouri While in Germany, where he earned a masHugh was injured in battle ter’s degree in physical while attending to a woundeducation. ed friend. A mortar landed in his Hugh began his coaching career foxhole, causing him to lose his left in 1950 when he was hired as a gym hand and lower arm. After the war, he teacher at Macon High School. After received a Purple Heart and Silver Star a few lackluster seasons, he took a Medal for his outstanding courage. coaching job in Pennsylvania in 1954. Hugh talks with friends at the Maple City Restaura a childhood accident when he was hit in the eye bruise the rock caused, but an infection led to rem It wasn’t long before Macon wanted him back, and a year later, he returned to coach the Tigers. Hugh remained the head football coach until he retired in 1991. Although he is regarded as one of the top football coaches in the state, he never won a state championship. He ended with a career record of 234-14815 with six league championships and four playoff appearances. In 1971, the school named the football stadium after Hugh. The following year, he was elected to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes Hall of Fame. “I still don’t know why they named the stadium after me,” says Hugh, humbly. “I thought they only name fields after people who won titles.” Hugh also has been inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and the Missouri Coaches Hall of Fame. After all of his success, Hugh cred- J ust after sunrise on a crisp Friday morning in September, a group of men head out to Macon High School’s football field to paint the lines and yard markers for the night’s home game. The men are of different ages and backgrounds, but they all have one friend in common. “We wouldn’t be out here if it wasn’t for Coach,” says Walt Thompson. “All of us were former players for Coach Dunn, and it’s because of him that we are out here every Friday.” For 40 years, Hugh Dunn coached players such as Walt and was a constant fixture in Macon. Even without his left hand and left eye, the 89-yearold World War II veteran known simply as “Coach” still attends almost every home Macon sports game, takes care of the playing fields and with the 18 RURAL MISSOURI

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - December 2010

Rural Missouri - December 2010
Contents
Comments
Columns
Lester Dent
The Owl Innkeepers
Mail Bag
Out of the Way Eats
Best of Rural Missouri
Coach
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
Just Claus
Too Good to Be True?
Marketplace
Around Missouri
Neighbors
Just4kids

Rural Missouri - December 2010

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