Altavista, Va. – He’s seen countless student-athletes throughout the years...from the basketball court to the football field. But after 25 years on the job, Altavista Athletic Director Dean Hubbard is retiring.
“My dad was a teacher and coach for 39 years and it’s just something I always wanted to do was be a teacher and coach,” Hubbard explained. He walks us through the halls of the gymnasium, as he recounts the more memorable times of his tenure.
“I reckon the special moment would be the 11 state championships that I had a chance to be a part of,” Hubbard said.
It all started in 2002 when longtime coach Debra Spencer brought the school its first volleyball championship. She then guided the girls basketball program to the same feat in 2004. The boys basketball program also rose to the occasion, winning a title in 2004 then storming through for 3-peat from 2013-2015, under coach Mike Cartolaro.
“It was a great time for both of us. Our son Richard played for Coach Cartolaro in the basketball program and had a chance to be on the back-to-back state championship teams,” Hubbard said. Mike Scharnus led the Colonels to 3 titles on the gridiron-- including a pair with now Super Bowl champion Juan Thornhill.
The boys cross country and softball programs also have state gold in the trophy case. Hubbard says all these accomplishments are a true testament they needed to compete at the single A level.
“Years ago there was a push for us to go single A and it’s really probably one of the best thing athletically that ever happen to our school,” Hubbard explained.
And surely the Altavista community would agree, that the job Hubbard has done is also one of the greatest things to ever happen to Colonel Country.