Celebration of life for Dan French '56, MS '64, scheduled for Feb. 23

The longtime mens basketball coach, athletic director and instructor to be remembered at the Stoller Center.

A celebration of the life for former Pacific University men’s basketball coach and athletic director Dan French '56, MS '64, will be held on Sat., Feb. 23, 6 p.m., in the Stoller Center gymnasium (2331 Main Street, Forest Grove). 

The ceremony is open to the public and will includes remembrances from family, former students and colleagues and friends. 

A reception with light food and beverages will take place following the service in the Boxer Learning Center, which is also located in the Stoller Center. 

Mr. French passed away on Nov. 14 in Indian Wells, Calif.  He was 78.  He was born on May 12, 1934, in Eldorado Springs, Mo., but was raised in Hillsboro. 

He graduated from Hillsboro High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from Pacific in 1956 and earned his master’s in physical education in 1964. 

A standout three-sport athlete, Mr. French was a four-year letter winner in football, basketball and track and field.  It was on the hardwood, though, where he shined the most. 

A two-time All-Northwest Conference selection, he held the Pacific career record for rebounds (688) until broken by Ross Bartlett in 2010 and ranks fifth on Pacific’s all-time scoring list with 1,279 points. 

Mr. French was inducted into the NAIA District II Hall of Fame in 1968 and the Pacific University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993. 

Following graduation, Mr. French served two years as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps before beginning his teaching and coaching career at Hillsboro High School. 

He became Pacific’s head men’s basketball coach in 1960 and served in that role for 12 seasons. He led the Badgers to a second place finish in the NWC in 1962-63.  His 117 were the most in school history until surpassed by Ken Schumann in 2001-02. Mr. French came back to serve as interim head coach for 14 games during the 1982-83 season for Gary Meggelin. 

In addition to coaching, Mr. French served as Pacific’s director of athletics and chair of the physical education department from 1965 to 1972.

Upon retirement, Mr. French worked for a land development company and purchased a Century 21 franchise in Hillsboro. He and his wife, Varina, relocated to Borrego Springs, Calif., in the late 1980s. While there, Mr. French spent time as interim head football coach and head of security at Ram’s Hill High School. 

Mr. French is survived by his wife of 58 years, Varina Heinrich French, who also served as a Pacific coach and physical education faculty member and was inducted into the Pacific University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996. 

He is also survived by a son, Daniel V. French, and his wife, Hayley; daughter Laurie Lund and her husband, Kurt; six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

For additional information on the service and reception, please contact Edna K. Gehring at 503-352-2107 or gehringe@pacificu.edu.


Posted by Joe Lang (jlang@pacificu.edu) on Feb 11, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Edited by Jenni Luckett (jluckett@pacificu.edu) on Feb 22, 2013 at 8:24 AM

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