Bill Patterson/Contributing Photographer
Lyndon High School Principal Brad Marcotte presents former Lyndon Coach Nick Dawson a commemorative plaque Friday evening, when the high school gymnasium was dedicated in his honor.
Jeremy Gaston | Managing Editor
LYNDON—Lyndon High School dedicated its gymnasium to former coach Nick Dawson at a ceremony prior to the boys’ basketball game with Marais des Cygnes Valley Friday night in Lyndon.
Around 1,000 people packed the gym for the home opener, including 50 to 75 former players, along with several members of Dawson’s family.
“It was a very nice way to honor a wonderful coach that affected a lot of lives,” said Lyndon Boys’ Basketball Coach Michael Massey said. “He has been very supportive of our program since I have been here and I am sure years prior.”
Dawson coached at LHS from 1963 to 1998, winning 15 league titles, qualifying for state six times and taking third twice during his 35-year career. Dawson held a record of 542 wins and 227 losses, including 62-straight home wins between 1970 and 1976, and 64-straight league wins between 1969 and 1978.
“It was a fantastic night in the gym, and a great opportunity to provide that to Nick and his family and the community of Lyndon,” said USD 421 Superintendent Brian Spencer. “Unfortunately, following the ceremony, things didn’t go as we imagined they would. His daughter recognized what was happening.”
Dawson suffered a stroke following the dedication ceremony, and was taken to Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center. Dawson died from complications related to the stroke Monday morning. He was 77.
“It was a lot of mixed emotions,” Spencer said. “To have something like that and see something like that, that’s exciting, but it’s always a sad time when someone passes away.”
Dawson officially left the district in 1998, but never left the building. He was a member of the endowment association, and hosted weekly open practices on Sundays in the gym.
“Nick was not an employee when I arrived here, but it didn’t take long to learn the importance to the school and community,” Spencer said. “He probably wrote more letters of recommendation for scholarships than anyone in the world. That lets you know how involved he still was.”
“He spent a lot of his own time opening the gym for our current players and they enjoyed him being at their games to support them,” Massey said. “I am truly honored to be able to coach on the same floor that bears his name.”
Funeral services for Nick Dawson will be 2 p.m. Friday in the Nick Dawson Gymnasium at Lyndon High School. School will be dismissed at 12:30.
Dawson’s notice of death appears on Page 2 of this week’s paper. A complete obituary will appear next week.