IUC coach enters Parkland College Hall of Fame

Dana Dunson

Dana Dunson has only been in Columbus for a few months, and already, he has landed a big honor.

The honor comes from Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois, where the new IU Columbus women’s basketball coach recently was inducted into the Parkland’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

“I’m very surprised,” Dunson said. “When they called me, they said they’d been looking for my number, and that they were wanting to call me a long time ago. They ended up getting my number from my nephew. He gave it to them, and then they called me and wanted to put me in the Hall of Fame.”

Dunson, 63, played basketball at Parkland in 1980-81 after transferring from San Jacinto (Texas). He averaged more than 20 points a game, led the team in rebounding and assists, was MVP in three tournaments and was named first-team All-Conference.

“They had bigger and taller guys, but because I could jump so well, I was at every position,” Dunson said. “I ended up playing at the point guard position because it made other players hard to guard.”

The Bloomington, Illinois native also played at Drake before earning a bachelor’s degree from LSU and a master’s of divinity from Missionary Chapel Academy. He coached high school boys and girls basketball in Louisiana, Michigan, Georgia and Illinois before leading the women’s team at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Dunson also coached the Shreveport-Bossier Knights men’s semi-pro ABA team while in Louisiana.

“I wanted to get back in the Midwest because I don’t know how much longer I want to keep coaching,” Dunson said. “I wanted to come and finish up in the Midwest, and at the same time, this is a good opportunity to help build a program from the ground up and make a mark and make history.”

The Crimson Pride have seven committed recruits for their inaugural season in 2024-25. They hail from Anderson, Frankton, Ben Davis, Whiteland, Greenwood Christian, Louisville and Michigan.

“I’m building,” Dunson said. “I know I’m going to have what I need.”

Chris Noblitt, a former player at Columbus Christian who has coached the Columbus Christian girls the past few years, has resigned that position to become Dunson’s assistant coach.

“He’s a real nice guy, and he’s willing to jump in there and help,” Dunson said. “That’s a plus, plus.”

IUC athletics director Zach McClellan is happy for Dunson to receive the Hall of Fame recognition.

“Coach Dunson is so well deserving of this accolade,” McClellan said. “Dana has a great knowledge of the game of basketball, but he also brings a kind spirit and humble presence that is such an asset to our program.”