Writers and other mediaites throw the word “Legend” around often to describe the passing of a former coach or athlete.
But that certainly isn’t the case here to describe Richard (Dick) Munn, who played and coached St. Teresa football. St. Teresa football today is a direct result of what Munn taught the six years he coached Bulldogs football. What he started, others continued, i.e. Ed Boehm and Scott Davis, Dale Patton, Ralph McQuiggan, Tim Brilley, Mark Ramsey, among many others.
When fans attend Bulldogs football games at the former Dawg pound, they now know instantly who did what when with St. Teresa football.
Boehm-Davis-Munn Field is a direct result of three men, Boehm, who succeeded Munn as the Bulldogs grid coach and who took the school to the first two state championships that the Illinois High School Association hosted. Boehm won the crowns with the talent Munn left him.
Munn’s brother, Dan, found Dick deceased at home Tuesday afternoon, April 27, after failed to show up for a lunch Dan and his wife were scheduled to share with Dick that noon hour. When Dick didn’t show, Dan went looking for him and found him at home deceased.
And the St. Teresa athletic community immediately went into mourning and texting, emailing and calling anyone and everyone they could to advise them of the legendary Munn’s passing. His St. Teresa career coaching record stands at 40 wins, 12 losses and three ties from 1968 through 1973-74 for a .755 winning percentage.
When my brother, Larry and Dick were classmates at St. Teresa, they often double dated with their girls friends at the time and Dick often was a guest at the my parents house.
And our youngest brother, Bill, played for Coach Munn until a heat stroke almost took his life. The late Mayor Michael McElroy was the first one to visit my brother Bill in Decatur Memorial Hospital. St. Teresa fans chuckle a little now of Munn coaching McElroy again in Heaven.
In fact, some St. Teresa fans believe God called Munn home because He had a game for him to coach. He wanted the best available coach to be on the sidelines and Dick certainly was that.
Several months ago Dick called me with an idea he wanted to run past this St. Teresa alum and long-time Decatur Tribune sports editor. What he wanted to do was write a motivational type notes to share with all Bulldogs athletes. I encouraged him, but in the end he decided against it.
I failed when Dick needed me the most as he wanted to share some of his philosophies with the St. Teresa athletic family.
But that’s not my biggest regret with the passing of Munn. No, that huge regret is that Dick and I and numerous others in the St. Teresa athletic family did not get an athletic Hall of Fame created while Dick was alive. He would have been a charter class inductee and a committee member.
Dick, I promise you that as long as I am breathing on this earth I will get your school to create the St. Teresa Dick Munn Athletic Hall of Fame. This St. Teresa alum got District 61 to create one and he hasn’t succeeded where we both went to school and where so many deserving athletes await enshrinement. John Althoff and others have talked with me about making this happen. It takes on much more significance now.
For all the Munn family members I send my warming Irish blessings and prayers to you during these very difficult times. God bless each.
I will have more on this obviously developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.