Grace Davis AD retires after 38 years in green and gold

jcortez@modbee.comJune 27, 2013 

In the 38 years at Grace Davis High School, Dwayne Westphal has done just about everything, from teaching business, to coaching football, track, girls basketball, boys and girls tennis, and baseball, to being the school's athletic director.

Not only has he done it all, he's seen it all, too.

"When I first started teaching there were a lot of mutton chops, platform shoes, plaid pants and white belts," said Westphal.

After all that — not the least of which was surviving the fashion nightmare of the 1970s — Westphal has decided to hang up his chalk, clipboard and whistle.

"Dwayne Westphal was the defensive coordinator when I played at Davis," said incoming athletic director Tim Garcia. "He was a very positive role model for me as a player and as a student on campus.

"I'm very appreciative for everything he did for me here. He allowed me to be a fly on the wall this past year to help make the transition easier."

Westphal took the scenic route to Davis.

After the Visalia native graduated high school in 1970, he enrolled at College of the Sequoias before landing at Fresno State.

After college, he took a job coaching football at Fresno's Hoover High while working toward a teaching credential. But when he didn't land a full-time gig at Hoover, he went to work for Thrifty Drugs.

For those too young to remember, the now-defunct drugstore chain sold ice cream cones for 5 cents a scoop.

"I remember when they raised it to a dime," says Westphal. "People went ballistic."

Maybe it was the angry customers that convinced him he needed to get serious about finding a teaching job. He soon lined up two interviews — one at Mariposa High and the other at Davis.

"I just remember that the drive to Mariposa was so nice," said Westphal. "But I was just happiest at Davis."

Through the years, he's had chance to go elsewhere. But Davis always felt like home.

"It's just one of those things ... it's the pride and the tradition of the program," says Westphal. "Plus, my wife is a '72 grad, and I met all of her friends who went to Davis. It's like I've always been there."

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