Cedar City Native Inducted in Athletic Hall of Fame

Published: February 11, 2015 | Author: Tommy Gugino | Read Time: 2 minutes

Kent Dover while on the 1940s football team.

Sitting in the red painted stands sits an always-present sight, Kent “Red” Dover. Growing up in Cedar City Dover has been seen on the sidelines or on the field beginning at the age of 11 rooting for his favorite team—the Southern Utah University Thunderbirds. His devotion and patronage to the athletic program led to his recent installment in the SUU Athletic Hall of Fame Friday, February 6, 2015. 

Getting his start as a water boy at age 11, Dover was soon promoted when he officially became a student in 1941 and was the kicker, defensive safety and quarterback. Dover optimized on his athletic ability and also participated in basketball as a forward, and track and field in the javelin, discuss, broad jump, pole vault and high jump.

After the 1941 seasons, Dover went to serve his country in World War II in the Air Force where he received many honors for serving his country including the Purple Heart. Two years later, he picked up where he left off in football, basketball and track and field and graduated from BAC in 1946 with a degree in business and a minor in vocal performance.

He said of his induction into the Athletic Hall of Fame, “It means a culmination of a lifetime of being involved with the college.”

Since graduating, Dover remained a devoted fan of SUU athletics attending football, basketball and gymnastics meets and games regularly and even was honored alongside his wife, Bessie, with an honorary doctorate from SUU in 2012.

Other inductees into the SUU Athletic Hall of Fame for 2015 included Frank LaRussa and the 2001 Men’s Basketball Team.

Frank LaRussa lettered all four years at offensive lineman for Southern Utah State College from 1971 to 1974. He started in every game but one in his career. LaRussa was named to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All- District Seven Team in 1973 and the All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Team in 1974. He was named the team captain in 1974.

Alongside the seasoned athletic veterans honored that evening was the 2001 SUU men’s basketball team, who capped off an amazing year in 2001 with the school’s first, and only, appearance in the NCAA basketball tournament.

Coach Bill Evans led the team to a 22-5 regular season record, including a perfect 13-0 record at home, and a share of the Mid-Continent Conference regular season title. The 25 wins are still the most all-time at SUU in Division 1.

Photo Credit: Kent Dover while on the 1941 football team. 

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