FAIRFIELD — The grammar college renaming of Fairfield High School was made official Friday evening throughout a ceremony honoring longtime women basketball coach Dan Breen.
Breen has the excellence of being Fairfield’s first women basketball coach, probably the most profitable and the one one to teach the staff in the course of the six-on-six period. For that motive, it was a straightforward resolution for the Fairfield School Board to vote to rename the FHS gym to Dan Breen High School earlier this summer season after Breen’s former gamers ran a letter-writing marketing campaign.
On Friday evening, Breen was honored between the faculty women’ and boys’ basketball video games in opposition to Washington. Breen was joined on heart courtroom by his spouse Tina, his kids, dozens of former gamers and assistant coaches, and his good good friend Ron Hunerdosse, who was talking at the gym’s renaming.
Jeff Courtright, director of Fairfield Activities, offered Breen with a plaque with a photograph of Breen celebrating the Trojanettes’ state title in 1983, together with a listing of Breen’s accomplishments throughout his 16-year tenure as head coach: an total report of 334-60 , 94 straight dwelling wins, 13 convention championships, 5 consecutive appearances within the State Final 4 (1982-1986) and the 1983 State Championship.
When Breen took his flip at the mic on Friday evening, he advised the packed gym that he could not take credit score for all of the wins his gamers have racked up over time.
“It’s almost a bit embarrassing to get all this recognition all these years later,” Breen advised Union. “I just see this as the Trojanette gym. When I see [my name] above the entrance it reminds me of all the trojans that played there. This was a showcase for their talents. My job as a coach was to highlight their God-given abilities.”
Breen was not concerned in planning Friday’s actions. He stated all of the credit score for it goes to his spouse Tina and his good friend Hunerdosse, whom he refers to as “Dose”.
“They went on social media and reached out to all these players,” Breen stated. “It was a lot of work to find addresses for some of them. My wife made a lot of effort. She’s good at things like that.”
Alumni from states like Indiana, Colorado, Tennessee and Delaware got here from far and vast to point out their assist for Coach Breen. After the ceremony, followers have been handled to a social at the FHS Commons, the place cake was served and a desk was set with framed newspaper pages depicting the highlights of Breen’s profession.
Hunerdosse wore a T-shirt that learn “I’m a Dan Fan” with the identical photograph of Breen celebrating the 1983 Championship on his plaque. Hunerdosse stated the shirt was from Breen’s retirement roast almost twenty years in the past. On the again are the phrases “Breen Machine” with a photograph of Breen holding an orange that may have been a well-recognized picture to Fairfield followers of the interval.
Breen stated individuals seen he typically introduced an orange to video games. He stated that after he went to junior excessive follow, practiced junior varsity, and at last practiced varsity, he wanted some nourishment, and he liked oranges.
“After a while it became a thing, so now I had to have an orange or people thought something was wrong. If I didn’t have one, someone would go get one, fearing that would be the reason we lost,” Breen stated. “It was kind of fun.”
Hunerdosse and Breen are each graduates of Parsons College, with Breen graduating in 1971 and Hunerdosse the next yr. A local of Lorain, Ohio, Breen was transferred to Parsons the place he performed basketball for 2 years.
Hunerdosse remembers the primary time he met Breen throughout a pick-up basketball sport in the highschool gym. He recalled that Breen was “pretty annoying” as a result of as a basketball participant he had “every tool in his belt to play defense.”
“He had a hammer, a hacksaw, a vise,” Hunerdosse joked. “He would hit you and maintain you down. He was a very aggressive man.”
“With Dose, it was a joke that I fouled him so many times and that’s why I was successful,” Breen stated.
Hunerdosse and Breen acquired to know one another properly as women’ working coaches. The two, and one other Parsons College graduate named Bill Moore, every coached women’ tracks for about 25 years. Hunerdosse stated the three, plus different Rich Stokes Parsons alumni, have been all good buddies and stay near this present day.
“If you come to the recovery center on Monday morning, you will find that we are walking around the circuit and solving a lot of problems,” Hunerdosse joked. “I see Dan almost every day. I play golf with him and take him for walks.”
After Breen resigned from his basketball teaching put up at the tip of the 1988 season, Hunerdosse took his place, ushering within the new period of five-a-side women’ basketball.
“The city was so behind him and the team, it was like following John Wooden at UCLA,” Hunerdosse stated.
Hunerdosse coached the faculty women’ staff for six years, together with Breen’s daughter Amy, who helped Fairfield get to the state event, and was named Gatorade Player of the Year for Iowa. Amy was named to the All-State staff and named AAU State Tournament MVP. In truth, Amy was Fairfield’s all-time main scorer till her report was damaged by Hunerdosse’s niece, Nicole Buch.
Looking again on his profession, Breen stated he had many nice groups in addition to the 1983 championship staff. Even his groups that did not make it to the state event have been among the many finest within the state however have been unfortunate sufficient to play the No. 1 within the regionals.
“We lost five times in regional finals, and four of those went to the No. 1 team,” stated Breen. “Our 1980 team would probably have won the title if we didn’t have to play No.1 Ottumwa [in regionals].”
Breen recalled that the 1983 staff was No. 1 all yr.
“This team had to live with the pressure of not only having a good team, but to fulfill the dream,” he stated. “We had to win 10 games in the playoffs. The pressure was enormous and the competition fierce.”
The title sport was in opposition to Des Moines-Hoover, and Breen remembered Fairfield being half down, however he advised the women within the locker room they’d Hoover proper the place they needed him. The Trojanettes had noticed Hoover’s weaknesses and by the fourth quarter “it was clear we were going to win”.
Breen stated the perfect factor about being a coach is watching your whole former gamers develop into wonderful adults.
“A coach’s legacy isn’t in the wins, it’s in the players and what they become,” he stated. “I was always very proud of the Trojanettes that came through. They are overwhelmingly successful and good people.”
Dan Breen speaks throughout Friday’s ceremony to rename Fairfield High School’s grammar college in his honor. (Andy Hallman/The Union)
Ron Hunerdosse, proper, delivers a speech in assist of his good good friend Dan Breen, left, throughout Friday’s ceremony to rename Fairfield High School’s gym in Breen’s honor. Hunerdosse wears a T-shirt with the phrases “I’m a Dan Fan” on the entrance and an image of Breen celebrating the Trojanettes’ 1983 state title. (Andy Hallman/The Union)
Dan Breen’s spouse Tina put collectively this assortment of framed and laminated newspapers that includes highlights from Breen’s teaching profession. (Andy Hallman/The Union)
Fairfield Activities Director Jeff Courtright, proper, presents Dan Breen with a plaque commemorating the renaming of the FHS gym in his honor on Friday, December 2nd. (Andy Hallman/The Union)
Laura (Stump) Gaston shares tales from the memorable 1983 title run she competed in. Gaston spoke about how coach Dan Breen, left, emphasised the fundamentals and had the women do a lot of drills. Other former gamers talked about how Breen liked working backwards from one finish line to the opposite whereas working ahead. (Andy Hallman/The Union)
Dan Breen stands in entrance of the newly christened “Dan Breen High School” at Fairfield High School. (Photo courtesy of Tina Breen)
This is the plaque offered to Dan Breen in the course of the renaming ceremony on Friday, December 2nd, recognizing Breen’s accomplishments because the Fairfield women’ basketball head coach from 1972-1988. (Image courtesy of Tina Breen)