A baseball legend, Jack Dunn retired from coaching after his 20th season as head coach at Portland State University and his 39th year of coaching baseball. He never had a losing season at PSU, compiling 630 wins. His lengthy career also included 19 years at Portland high schools Cleveland (14 yrs) and Wilson (5 yrs).
In the Division 1 Pac-10 North Conference, PSU won the title in 1984 and advanced to the championship game of the league’s postseason tournament in 1986 and 1990. The Vikings also won the Nor Pac in 1977 and traveled to Tempe, AZ. for the NCAA Regional’s. In 1984 and 1986, Dunn’s teams won 39 games, the state’s collegiate record.
Since 1975, 35 Portland State players have signed professional baseball contracts. Most notable of Dunn’s graduates to play major league baseball were pitchers Jeff Lahti, Eric Gunderson, and the late Steve Olin. Two-time National League MVP Dale Murphy and Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers manager Tom Trebelhorn also played for Dunn when he coached at Portland high schools Wilson and Cleveland.
Prior to succeeding Roy Love at PSU in 1975, Jack’s Wilson High team won three straight league titles. His American Legion team, Watco Electric, was so successful that he earned the Slats Gill Award as Oregon’s Coach of the Year for all sports in 1973 when Watco finished third at the American Legion World Series. In 18 years under Dunn, Watco won 14 division titles and three state championships.
The “Mentor” has also been published in numerous coaching magazines. In 1972, he received the Rollie Truitt Award for his contribution to baseball. In 1998 he received The Oregonian’s Distinguished Sports Career Award and in 1999 was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. Jack has also been inducted into the Cleveland High School Hall of Fame, the PIL Hall of Fame, and the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame.
Jack has recently published a book, “From the Third Base Coaches Box“, which chronicles his winning baseball strategies.
Don Nelson retired from Cleveland High School after 35 years of coaching baseball at CHS. He served as the head coach for half of the 1991 season and was named PIL assistant coach of the year in 1990 and 2004. He was also a Physical Education Instructor for the Portland Public Schools and is now retired.
Don graduated in 1969 from Lincoln High School where he played four years of varsity baseball. Then it was on to Portland State University where he played three years varsity baseball for head baseball coach Roy Love and graduated in 1974.
He has coached Babe Ruth baseball for 14 years and been on the staff at Metro Baseball School for the past 14 years. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Active and Old Timers Baseball Association.
Worked with the following head coaches:
John Dunn, affectionately known as “J-Dawg”, is a fifth generation Oregonian. He attended Wilson High School where he was a four-year letter winner on the baseball team. He earned first team All PIL honors as a Pitcher in his junior year and was an All State selection as a third baseman in his senior year. He played in the prestigious State/Metro baseball series showcasing Oregon’s best high school baseball players in 1973. John was a baseball team captain at Wilson and was also an All West Division PIL guard in basketball. In 2009, he was inducted into the Wilson High School Athletic Hall of Fame and in 2012 the PIL Hall of Fame.
A four-year letter winner in baseball at Portland State, he was a two-time selection to the Nor-Pac all star team, a PSU Gold Glove award winner, as well as team captain. John pitched, played first, and third base for the Vikings 1977 NCAA Division I Western Regional playoff team.
After college, John pitched professionally for the Portland Mavericks of the Class A Northwest League and was named to the Northwest League All Star team as a pitcher. He was signed by the San Diego Padres and reported to their minor league spring training in 1978. John pitched and played third base for many years in the semi-pro City League in Portland.
His levels of coaching baseball have included Little League, Junior Baseball, High School, and College. The Head Baseball Coach at Lake Oswego High School from 1996-1998, he was named co-coach of the year in the Three Rivers League in 1997 leading the Lakers to their first state playoff appearance in 10 years. He was an assistant baseball coach and the pitching coach at Lewis and Clark College for three years and coached the Northwest Star Baseball Academy Collegiate team.
John comes from a renowned Oregon baseball family. His father Jack, cofounder of Metro Baseball School, was the long time Head Baseball Coach at Portland State University and was recently inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. John’s two brothers, Jeff and Jim, were teammates on the 1977 Portland State University NCAA Regional team, and they both played professional baseball.