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A Rose by Any Other Name

Legendary Coach Dave Rose Inducted into Dixie State University Hall of Fame

Article by Fred Bernhardt and Holly Infante

Photography by Fred Bernhardt & BYU Sports

Originally published in St George City Lifestyle

From the Lone Star State to Utah’s Dixie and onto Cougar Country, the influential athlete and coach, Dave Rose, has scored an impressive career record, earning an enduring place in the Dixie State University Hall of Fame.

Dave returned to St. George this past October to accept this major honor, joining the ranks of his former college coach, Doug Allred, and good friend and former major league baseball pitcher, Bruce Hurst.

Athletics is not the only St. George connection, but athletics is where it began. Growing up in the Houston area, Dave became a high school basketball and baseball star. His prowess caught the eye of then Dixie Junior College basketball coach, Doug Allred, and Dave set out to play for the Rebels.

Dave played both sports his first year with great success, then took a leave of absence to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Manchester, England. Following his return, someone caught his eye.

On the second day back on campus, he met Cheryl Lang—a local, blonde beauty—while attending a business class. Dave says it was the best thing that ever happened to him. Although the debate about who made the first move has not been settled, the attraction was mutual and the two were married.

Dave finished his playing career at the University of Houston, where he was a co-captain and shooting guard for the team known as “Phi Slama Jama,” going all the way to the NCAA championship. His hopes of playing professionally were dashed by a serious knee injury. Upon graduation with a business degree, he took a desk job. Yet, he missed basketball and wanted to teach the skills he had learned.

After thoughtful prayer and with wife Cheryl by his side, Dave accepted his first coaching job at Millard High School in Fillmore, Utah. He later returned to St. George to coach at Pine View High School.

Soon Dave accepted an offer at Dixie, serving as assistant coach for three years before becoming head coach. His teams won multiple conference championships, compiling a winning 167-57 record, and ranking in the top 20 of the National Junior College Athletic Association for basketball six times.

Dave moved on to Brigham Young University, with eight years as an assistant coach. He served as head coach from 2005 until his retirement in 2019, where he compiled a remarkable 348-135 record, winning multiple Mountain West Conference championships and Coach of the Year honors.

In his Hall of Fame acceptance speech, Dave said: “When I think of Dixie, I think of having great friends and great times, both as a student and a coach, and that good friends equal a good life.”

Dave’s dad passed away two years ago, but his mother, Gae, and the extended Rose family attended the ceremony to share in his honor, joined by former players and others he has influenced.

A family man and a fighter, Dave has survived pancreatic cancer, a heart attack and a stroke. He and Cheryl have three children along with eight grandchildren. They return to the St. George area often to visit their son, Garrett, and his family and Cheryl’s two sisters.

As he reflects on his career, whether as a Rebel, Eagle, Panther or Cougar, this Rose—by any name—takes pride in helping many fine student athletes, both in their athletic careers and personal lives. He says, “It was fun to coach every day.”

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