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Central Washington University

CWU Athletics Mourns the Passing of Former Football Coach Mike Dunbar

TACOMA, Wash. — A memorial service for former Central Washington University head football coach Mike Dunbar will be held Sunday, September 29 at 2:00 at the Tacoma Golf and Country Club. Dunbar, who guided the Wildcats to a 54-9-1 record in six seasons, passed away last Friday (Sept. 13) at the age of 64.

Dunbar, who spent nine total seasons as a coach at CWU from 1980-83 and 1987-91, died following a battle with cancer.

Dunbar was inducted into the CWU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010. He maintains the highest football winning percentage of any head coach in CWU football history -- .852 -- and his 54 victories rank third in school history behind Tom Parry (95) and John Zamberlin (63). He also won five conference titles and his teams had a 33-3-1 record in conference games.

In addition to coaching football, Dunbar also served as the Wildcats’ head baseball coach during the 1983 season. CWU posted a 25-20-1 record before later vacating 22 wins and a tie.

Dunbar continued to coach football following his departure from CWU. He spent most of the rest of his coaching career at the NCAA Division I level, with stints at the University of Massachusetts, University of Toledo, the University of Northern Iowa, Northwestern University, the University of California, the University of Minnesota, New Mexico State University, and Northern Illinois University. He spent just one season as the offensive coordinator at NIU before coming back to Washington in July 2013 following his cancer diagnosis.

Dunbar is survived by his wife of 40 years, Linda, and their two children, Lori and Troy. A memorial endowment in Dunbar’s honor will also be set up to support athletic scholarships at CWU. Details about that scholarship fund are still being finalized.

Media contact: Jonathan Gordon, CWU Assistant Athletic Director, 509-963-1485,

September 19, 2013

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