Memorial Held For Former McQueen Football Coach Sunday - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Memorial Held For Former McQueen Football Coach Sunday

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It was an emotional Sunday for many who knew and loved legendary football coach, Ken Dalton, who lost his battle with cancer on January 3rd at the age of 66.

Hundreds packed the McQueen High School gymnasium for a public memorial service for Coach Dalton.

His son, Matt, was one of the speakers.

"It's truly amazing to look around this room right now and see all the people who come to celebrate my dad's life," he said to the large crowd.

Matt talked about what kind of man his father was.

"My dad was a dynamic man who lived his life by a set of priorities that was never altered," he said. "His core beliefs surrounded the four 'F's' -- faith, family, friends, and of course, football."

Many from the community came out, from former players to longtime assistant coaches, to remember the legacy that he left for not just McQueen, but the northern Nevada area.

"He talked to a lot of people that either went here, or parents of kids that went here," said Ryan Stander, a former McQueen player under Dalton. "They all know who he is, how great of a person he is. He made an impact on more than just the football players."

Coach Dalton started the football program at North Tahoe High School in the 1970's. Rick Harris says he was a player under the coach, and they became good friends as the years went on.

"I just want to say something about not only the impact he had on the McQueen community," he said. "He had the same thing at North Tahoe. He was there for eight years, not only for his players, but for the school itself and the whole Tahoe City community."

Dalton then became McQueen's first head football coach when the school was built in 1982. He coached the Lancers to 11 regional titles and six state championships. The Lancers went 14-0 in his final season in 2008.

"He's kind of like a patriarch, if you will, of not only McQueen Football, but McQueen High School, Northwest community," said Ken Cass, who was an assistant coach of Dalton's for more than 20 years. "He had a huge impact."

All of Coach Dalton's accomplishments earned him a spot in the Lancers Hall of Fame and McQueen's field is named after him.

"I'm so very proud to be a Dalton and everything that name represents," Matt Dalton said during Sunday's service. "I couldn't ask for a better friend and a better mentor."

Written by Adam Varahachaikol
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