SFCC Remembers First Coach Dunning Terrell
South Florida Community College honored the memory of its first coach during Dunning Terrell Night at the Ballpark Monday evening. More than 30 of Terrell’s friends and relatives attended a presentation in which Terrell’s daughter, Judy, received a plaque and a framed baseball jersey from Dr. Leana Revell, vice president, Educational and Student Services, and Rick Hitt, athletic director and head baseball coach.
The plaque acknowledged Terrell’s contributions to the development of the college’s athletic programs while he served as its first basketball and baseball coach from 1966 to 1977. After his coaching days ended, Terrell was a beloved physical education instructor until his retirement in 1986. The framed jersey bore the number “1” reflecting Terrell’s place in college history as its first coach.
“As the college’s first coach, he laid the foundation for years to come that others would follow to make their respective marks on our athletic program,” Hitt said. “Without people like Coach Terrell, people like me would have never gotten a shot. I am grateful for his contributions to our institution and for the opportunity I have each day to do what I do thanks to people like him. I can only hope that in the years to come I can continue to impact lives in such a way that people like Dunning Terrell would be proud. At the end of the day, in our profession, we impact lives. What is greater than that.”
Lynn MacNeill, professor, oral communications, remembered Coach Terrell as a “great gentleman” and a personal friend, who rose to the challenges of forming SFCC’s first baseball team with grace. “He was always upbeat and very positive,” MacNeill said. “He did the best he could. He was very supportive of other faculty, and was always checking with them to find out how his players were doing. He was as concerned about their academic progress as their athletic progress.”
Sharon Jones, SFCC community relations coordinator, took bowling and tennis classes with Coach Terrell in the early 1980s. “Being quite unathletic, I was not excited about having to take physical education classes at college, which were required at the time. As it turned out, I was extremely fortunate to have Coach Terrell as an instructor. He took a personal interest in all of his students, regardless of their athletic abilities. In every class, he spent time working with every student. He never walked by me without giving me a tip as to how I could do better. He seemed to realize that most of us would never be star athletes, and yet he encouraged everyone to do their best.”
Terrell passed away Feb. 24 in Wauchula. The memorial presentation was arranged by SFCC’s Athletic Department.