Remembering the life and legacy of Dan Speasl
Obituary Published in the Rogue Valley Times, on August 3, 2023
Dan Speasl passed away at home July 27, 2023. He was 70. Surviving are his wife of 45 years, Sandy, his son David (Gloria), 3 grandchildren, his siblings Gail Warren (Mike), John Speasl, Gary Speasl and several nieces and nephews.
Born in Lebanon Oregon, Dan graduated from Lebanon High School, lettered as a freshman at Oregon State University and then attended SOU, graduating in 1974. As a wrestler at SOU, Dan became SOU’s first 3-time All American Athlete in any sport. He continued to actively support SOU wrestling throughout his life.
Dan was hired as a teacher and coach at Crater High School in 1974. He was head wrestling coach from 1974 to 1985, and during those years he took the Crater wrestling program from the back of the class to a state contender. His coaching philosophy was aligned around intense hard work, being in better shape than the opponents, and competing at the highest level possible. He believed that this was the only way to improve.
In addition to his teaching and wrestling coaching duties, Dan was assistant coach in football and baseball, and coached the girls and boys cross country teams. He even found time to lead the construction of the Hanby field house/wrestling project. During his tenure as the Career Counselor at Crater, he was one of the founding members of the Crater Foundation and developed the rating system that is still used for awarding scholarships.
In 1997 Dan became the Athletic Director for Crater, a position he held until his retirement in 2004. As AD, he was instrumental in the development of the soccer fields and JV baseball field on Upton Road with no cost to the District, using his many contacts with Jackson County residents and businesses for in-kind services and cash donations. After leaving Crater, he served as interim Athletic Director at SOU for one year.
Dan was a 28 year member of the Central Point Rotary Club, served as president in 2007-2008, was a Paul Harris Fellow, and was active on various committees throughout the years. He truly believed in “service above self”.
After he retired, Dan and Sandy built a house at Hyatt Lake and lived in the Greensprings community for 20 years. Dan served as a board member of the Greensprings Fire and Rescue and the Pinehurst School Foundation. He was a willing volunteer for both entities, and he created a pickleball court at Pinehurst School. He spent his retirement years traveling, hunting, camping, snowmobiling, and enjoying his friends and family.
Dan was inducted into the SOU Athletic Hall of Fame, the Oregon Athletic Directors Hall of Fame, the Crater High School Athletic Hall of Fame, the Crater High School Achievement Hall of Fame and received the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s “Lifetime Service to Wrestling” award. Dan received many honors over the years and celebrated life daily. At his request, there will be no further celebration of his life or memorial service. He asked that anyone wishing to honor him, please make a donation to the Crater Foundation online or to PO Box 5172, Central Point, OR 97502. He was passionate about helping all students succeed.