As a young ball player, Todd Dunfield was use to wearing a lot of hats. “Teeball came easiest,” he reflected, “and I grew up with the ’84 Tigers which was “big fun.” As the years progressed, he found enjoyment in being able to control the game through pitching and valued relationships with teammates. That interest led to 4 years baseball (3 yrs. Varsity) at Seaholm HS receiving best pitcher award all three years; four summers of American Legion Baseball culminating in an ’98 State Championship; and three seasons with Albion College Baseball where, in his freshman year, he had the lowest ERA in the MIAA. In other words, he gave up only 7 runs in 26 innings.
It wasn’t until his college years (post bachelor, MAT program, and Master Degree), however, that he needed to start juggling those hats. “I was working three jobs,” he mused, “Landscaper, waiting tables and substitute teaching.” He added a fourth hat nearing the completion of his Master Degree, when Dunfield joined the Grounds Crew for the Detroit Tigers, a position he still holds today, 16 years later.
Though originally headed for a career in Athletic Administration, Todd discovered he enjoyed teaching through his work as a substitute teacher. When asked if he could coach sports other than baseball at his Roeper interview with former Athletic Director, Ernie Righetti, he had no hesitations. Ernie went on to mentor Todd in Cross Country resulting in 14 seasons as Varsity Cross Country Coach and 8 seasons for Middle School Cross Country, and in Basketball — 1 season Freshman Boys, 5 seasons JV Girls and 4 seasons elementary boys.
Today, Todd continues to juggle his hats. His titles currently include: MS/US Physical Education Teacher; Health Teacher; and Head Coach for MS & Varsity Cross Country, Elementary Boys’ Basketball, and Varsity Baseball. Though challenging to coach across such a wide age range, Dunfield finds value in doing so. “The advantage in working with the younger kids, is that you get to know them before they come to the Upper School. I know them as a teacher and a coach.”
Dunfield is excited to don his old familiar baseball hat this spring with the Varsity Baseball Team. “Senior Evan Akkashian is returning to pitch, Alum Logan Garlo will be coming back as an Assistant Coach and Memorial Park has been newly remodeled.”
Speaking of hats, it seems to be a family affair. Todd’s daughter is only eight and already has participated in swimming, golf, basketball, tennis, dance, softball, soccer, and ice skating programs.
All that’s left to say is, Hats Off, Coach Dunfield!
Seaholm High School
BA Albion College Sports Science
Wayne State University Physical Education and Health Teaching Degree
Wayne State University Masters in Physical Education
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