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Former Fullerton College head football coach, head baseball coach and Athletic Director Bud Dawson was an integral part of the Hornet’s athletic success spanning four decades.
A Fullerton Union High School graduate (1939), Bud was a three-sport star athlete (football, basketball, and baseball) who excelled at every position.
After his days at FUHS, Bud went on to play professional baseball in the minor leagues. When World War II broke out, it put Bud’s baseball career on hold as he served his country with honor (Lt. US Marines). After the war, Dawson was invited back to professional baseball where he played for various teams for the next six years of his life. At the tale end of his baseball career, Bud managed and played for the Tucson Cowboys in 1951. He had caught the coaching bug, and that was a good thing for Fullerton College.
Dawson came back to his roots to work as an assistant coach at Fullerton College in 1952. In the fall of 1954, Bud took over the Hornet football program, and then he became the skipper of the Hornet baseball program in the Spring of 1955. Bud kept very busy coaching both sports at Fullerton College until 1958 when he took over the reigns as Fullerton College’s Athletic Director.
During his tenure as the FC Athletic Director, Dawson, along with Dr. H. Lynn Sheller, hired the following coaching staff: Alex Omalev (FC HoF/men’s basketball), Mike Sgobba (FC HoF/baseball), Ernie Polte (FC HoF/water polo), Al Feola (FC HoF/football and track), Jim Bush (FC HoF track), Tom Tellez (FC HoF/track), and Hal Sherbeck (FC HoF/football). All of these coaches produced what is called “the greatest era in the history of Fullerton College sports”, and a lot of it was due to one man.
In memory of Bud’s outstanding service and loyalty to Fullerton College, those who knew him, admired him and loved him, established the Bud Dawson Memorial All Sports Award in his memory and honor. It is one of the FC Athletic Department’s finest awards.