His first foray into education took him to the alma mater of Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson.
"Skyline High School in Dallas," recalled Adam "Rob" Dean last Thursday. "It's famous for track. Larry Johnson of the New York Knicks (and Charlotte Hornets).is also from there."
Five years teaching-with pole-vault coaching duty included in two-at the giant 5A in 'Big D' led to a move towards smaller Stephenville for the next seven.
"My first year there the girls' volleyball team won state, my third or fourth our football team went to the semifinals-we lost to (Dallas) Highland Park in the last couple minutes.they were quarterbacked by Matt Stafford, who's in the NFL," he said. "But a great school, focused on everything-academics, athletics, extracurricular activities.we had state champions in all of them; it was a great location to be at."
Sounds something like the location where he now finds himself: Bayfield High School.
And, like the fresh facilities on campus entering late-stage construction, Dean, the successor to Dave Preszler as athletics/activities director, couldn't be more pumped to further build BHS' traditions.
"We need to prepare these kids to be great adults in whatever field they choose to be in," he stated.
"I think 14 years of experience in education in Texas has developed a great foundation for 'What are the expectations we need?' Our focus is to build good students and teach them, especially in the extracurriculars, things they don't learn in the classroom-teamwork, self-discipline, physical activity, perseverance, confidence, being gracious winners and good losers."
"We're not always going to win; at Stephenville they won four state football championships in the '90s, didn't win any while I was there. And the head coach was Chad Morris-he's now the offensive coordinator at Clemson-and he didn't win a championship. We went three years of 10-and-0 but we didn't make it. So you don't always win, but you play your best.now how do we teach these other elements to kids? I have that foundation.that's what it's about."
Third in the 1991 graduating class of Blackwell, Okla., High "about the size of Bayfield High School", and later a political science grad of the University of Oklahoma in 1996, before earning a teaching certification from University of Central Oklahoma in '98 and a master's in educational administration from the University of North Texas in 2002, Dean noted the small-town, small-school atmosphere as a major attraction.
"My wife and I had talked about moving to Colorado for years, so we were like 'Let's move!'" he said. "Moved to Gunnison in April, just as a central location to put out applications-and here I am!"
"When we moved in, we needed some help," he continued. "Coach [Gary] Heide, Derek Smith, Coach [Jeff] Lehnus, and a couple of the kids came and.were very helpful. We've felt very welcomed in the community, and that was one of the things we were looking for-where we can, one, get around and see the scenery and be IN the mountains, and also a community that we felt very comfortable in."
"We're very excited to be here.. I think it is a good fit for me in this position and I'm excited."
"The coaches are obviously doing it for the right reasons," he noted. "They want to be here for the kids, make them into well-rounded people.. Athletics, I think we've got a good, well-rounded program."
"But do we have programs for kids who, you know, like math? One of my goals is [to] try and have programs for every student to be involved in something. I know Skills USA does a great job, and Knowledge Bowl obviously is doing very well, so it's 'Where are groups we can add, that we're missing some of these kids?' How do we get kids involved, and how do we make the school as a whole better?"
All valid questions, and questions to which Dean cannot wait to find answers.