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Coach for Life

After many years of coaching and teaching at West High, Dean Widen has decided to retire.
Mallory Mills
Dean Widen posing for a picture.

Dean Widen resides in room 233 as a PBDA instructor, where he teaches all social studies. Even outside of the school year, Widen helps instruct students during summer school, which typically begins two weeks before the beginning of the school year.

Although he is not seen by many outside of the PBDA, Widen has left a longing impact on his students. His caring and understanding personality has made him a favorite to many, including the girls basketball team.

For years, Widen has been an assistant coach of the girls basketball team. For Widen, who was in sports all throughout his school and college years, his passion for coaching began when he was in high school himself and was a student athlete. “My desire for coaching and helping others in sports started at 15 years old as I managed my hometown Little League baseball and softball program.”

Throughout these years of coaching students, Widen hopes he has had a positive impact on their lives as student athletes. “I believe my impact on the players I coached was hopefully a positive one.  Some of the characteristics that I hope were achieved were to give your very best at all times, do not quit when the going gets tough, use your God-given talents, be honest at all times and always do the right thing for the right reason, and also to have some fun and make life-time friends,” Widen adds.

2023-24 Basketball team picture hanging up in Widen’s room. (Mallory Mills)

As a religious man, Widen is very open with his beliefs to his students and athletes, and actively shows them in his coaching. This became a big part of the entire team’s lives when head coach, Anthony Pappas, unexpectedly collapsed during a practice, where he suffered a heart attack. Widen shares, “The situation that occurred this year with Dr. Pappas was one which was hard to prepare for but the coaching staff banded together during that emergency and throughout the rest of the season to work hard and get through this difficult time.” To bring everyone together, Widen decided to begin praying before games to help relieve the athletes. “Prayer played a big role in staying together as a team.” Although Widen is retiring, he will forever be remembered by Wahawks for his attitude and personality and we wish him the best of luck with whatever he decides to do.

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About the Contributor
Mallory Mills
Mallory Mills, Print Co-Editor-In-Chief; Yearbook Section Editor
Mallory Mills is a senior at West High and this is her second year on yearbook and the Wahawk Insider staff. She is a reporter for the Wahawk Insider and is the People and Clubs/Orgs section editor for Yearbook. Outside of school, Mallory is usually listening to music, spending time with her family and friends, or attending a concert.
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