Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
FAIRFIELD — A group of residents is spearheading an effort to have Fairfield High School’s gymnasium renamed in honor of Dan Breen.
Amber Stump McDowell, a former student of Breen’s, announced the campaign last week. McDowell is part of a group that includes Susan Stump, Jill Burnett and Laura Gaston, who are petitioning the school district to name the gymnasium after Breen, a coach and former teacher.
Breen took the Fairfield girls’ basketball team, then known as the Trojanettes, to the state tournament five years in a row from 1982-1986, which included a state championship in 1983.
Those who wish to contribute letters on Breen’s behalf may send them to Fairfield Schools Superintendent Laurie Noll at 403 S. 20th St. in Fairfield, IA 52556, or by emailing her at email@example.com. Residents are asked to submit their letters no later than July 30.
Breen’s illustrious athletic career began at Lorain High School in Lorain, Ohio, where he received All-League recognition for his play on the basketball court from 1965-1967. According to the Lorain Sports Hall of Fame’s website, Breen continued his basketball career at Lorain County Community College, where he was a two-year starter, and finished his collegiate career at Parsons College in Fairfield, where he played another two years, also in a starting role.
Breen graduated from Parsons College in 1971, and was challenged to start a girls’ basketball program at the local high school, which he did. According to the Lorain Sports Hall of Fame, this was in an era when girls played six-on-six, unlike the boys’ five-on-five game. When Breen led the Trojanettes to the state championship in 1983, girls’ high school basketball teams competed in a single class, with nearly 500 teams vying for the title.
This state championship brought Breen many accolades, including being named the Iowa Kodak Coach of the Year in 1983. In 1986, he received the Golden Plaque of Distinction Award from the IGHSAU for career achievement.
When Breen retired from coaching in 1988, he had amassed a record of 336-60, 13 consecutive conference titles, 13 consecutive 20-win seasons, six state tournaments and five consecutive Final 4 appearances. In 2005, he was inducted into the Iowa Girls Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Information from the Lorain Sports Hall of Fame was used in this story.
Call Andy Hallman at 641-575-0135 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org