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Groundbreaking of the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts, March 2014.

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Alumni Spotlight

Marty Taggart & Doug Berry

Marty Taggart and Doug Berry were recently inducted into Southern Utah University’s Coaching Factory Hall of Fame for their achievements as coaches and their impact on youth and athletics.

Marty, a 1971 Physical Education graduate, has become a coaching legend at Moapa Valley High School and throughout southern Nevada. Following success as a center for the Thunderbird football team and as a wrestler, he began teaching and coaching at Moapa and remained there for 36 years until his retirement. During that time he coached football for 33 years, including 13 years as head coach, guiding the Pirates to three state championships and nine divisional wins. He was named Coach of the Year in 1978, 1979 and 1984.

However, his 31 years as the school’s wrestling coach is even more impressive as he led his charges to eight consecutive state crowns from 1975 to 1982 and is rightfully recognized as the father of wrestling at Moapa. Over the years, he produced 4 four-time state champions, 3 three-time state champions, 12 two-time state champions and another 40 state champs. Moreover, he led the effort to make wrestling a recognized sport among the small high schools in the state and throughout junior high schools in southern Nevada. He is justifiably proud to have afforded countless students the opportunity to develop their individual abilities and to work together as teammates.

He has been inducted into the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame, the National Wrestling Fall of Fame and Museum, and the Clark County High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame.

Doug, a Physical Education graduate and one of the greatest football receivers ever at SUU, held all Thunderbird single game, season and career records in receptions and receiving yards upon his graduation in 1971. His records stood for more than 35 years and still remain in the top three in school history. He was a four-year letterman and 1970 team captain. That same year, he led the nation in receptions and yards with 74 and 1294 respectively and after a brief appearance in the NFL, began his coaching and teaching career at Brighton High School in Utah.

Over the years he would coach football, track and field, tennis and basketball. In 1973 he became the head football coach at Jordan High School where he led the Beetdiggers to the state semi-finals in 1976. He later accepted the top job at Alta High School in 1978, a post he held for 16 years. As the Hawks’ football coach he took his team to the state playoffs eight times, won the championship trophy in 1983 and 1988 and the runner-up trophy in 1984.

Along the way he was named coach of the year twice and saw his career record rise to 129-96 as a head coach. He was named Alta’s athletic director in 1995 and served in that position for 10 years. After being out of the coaching ranks for 16 years, he was lured back in 2006 as a receivers coach and special teams coordinator at Alta where he continues to teach physical education.

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