Memorial held for former coach, dean

Family, friends and Shippensburg community members gathered in Shippensburg University’s Old Main Chapel on Friday to mourn the loss of former head football coach and Dean of Students David “Dave” Dolbin Jr.

Nearly every seat in Old Main Chapel was filled, and attendees included former SU presidents Anthony Ceddia and George “Jody” Harpster.

The service’s speakers ranged from Dolbin’s children to his colleagues, each one sharing personal stories about Dolbin’s character and personality.

Dolbin died Oct. 3 at the age of 85 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. 

Dolbin grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and was preceded in death by his sister, Joann, and his brother, Michael. 

In high school, Dolbin played football, basketball and baseball. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1955, but chose to pursue a career in education instead of playing football.

He received his undergraduate degree from West Chester University and a master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University before being drafted into the U.S. Army, during which time he completed a tour of duty in Keflicjk, Iceland.

Prior to his retirement in 1992, Dolbin worked at SU in several different capacities beginning in the early 1960s. In addition to serving as dean of men, Dolbin served as SU’s first dean of students and stayed in the position for nearly 20 years.

As head coach of SU’s football team, Dolbin led the Red Raiders to win the Central Pennsylvania Conference Championship in 1961 with an undefeated 10-0 season. He was named Coach of the Year in 1960 and 1961.

In 1992, Dolbin was inducted into the South Central Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into West Chester University’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.

Dolbin is survived by his wife of 60 years, Margaret; his children, Beth and Steven; his daughter-in-law, Robin; and his grandchildren, Trent, Reece and Collin; all of Shippensburg.

Memorial contributions can be made to the David and Margaret Dolbin Educational Scholarship through the Shippensburg University Foundation.

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