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High 5 for busy grandpa, coach, teacher

By Alex Boye | Posted - Jun. 17, 2011 at 8:14 a.m.


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ALPINE -- A Utah County man won a KSL High 5 this week for the service he provides to his neighbors and youth in the community.

Seven-year-old Annie McConnell nominated her grandpa, Dave McConnell, for the honor. Dave's wife, Jan McConnell, says her husband is "a person that can't sit." A time out isn't in Dave's schedule. He lives every day to its fullest by staying busy.

  • Dave coaches high school basketball. Jan says, "He's more than a coach. He's a mentor to the boys."
  • He shares his love of horses. "He really gets a lot of joy in taking people up and letting them see the mountains on the horses," Jan explained.
  • Dave teaches driver's education at Copper Hills High School. "They needed some help," Dave said, "so I go out and test kids."

He also takes time to play with his five granddaughters and care for his neighbors. "It's just in his being," Jan explained. "He is an amazing person."

With some help from her mom, Annie McConnell wrote to us about the lessons she has learned from her grandfather. One of them came as she watched her grandfather care for a neighbor whose husband died of cancer 10 year ago.

Jan told KSL, "Dave promised Conrad that he would make sure Diane had whatever she needed. That he would watch out for her, for her horses, for whatever he could do for her and he has not wavered on that one bit."

Dave explained, "We've put in a concrete deck for her and just round up people in the neighborhood to help out and make sure the place stays clean and picked up. Whatever she needs."

"The way I look at it, it's a lifetime thing. It's not over yet, so I've just started," he continued.

Dave has spent much of his life working with young people. He has coached basketball at Alta, Jordan, and Cottonwood high schools.

"He's an amazing coach," Jan said. "They boys that he's coached, they still come back to see him years later."

He recently stepped down as head coach at Cottonwood High to give his assistant the post. "I've been coaching for like 34 years, so I've had my turn. It's his time. So now I'm helping him as his assistant," Dave said.

Dave is humble, genuine, giving, and already looking for a new challenge. "My friend, his goal is to hike every mountain in every state. I think that's going to be mine, too," he told us.

As a thank you for his service, Dave received a gift basket from our High 5 sponsors, Les Schwab.

If you know someone who deserves a High 5, nominate them here.

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Alex Boye

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