By: Nick Twardus November 20, 2014
Dunbar girls basketball coach Dwayne Donnell has been known to be a very patient man by his longtime assistant coach Brian Beasley. Beasley has been an assistant coach on Donnell’s staff for 19 of the head coach’s 20 seasons in Lee County across three schools (Dunbar, Mariner and Cape Coral).
“Even from the beginning, the amount of patience Coach Donnell has brought to the game of basketball has been great, which comes from his baseball background,” Beasley said. Donnell was a standout pitcher at Jackson State University before taking his talents to the hardwood.
“His way of getting ready for an event has transferred really well to the girls he coaches,” Beasley added
But Donnell didn’t have to wait long to extend his Lee County career win total to 400, just three short years after he netted his 300th victory, in a 89-20 win over Bishop Verot.
“I’m ecstatic. Wish that 400 could have been a state championship, but it’s always nice. We’ve had a great run with this program and we’re excited about the fact that we’re able to continue to be a competitive program year-in and year-out,” said Donnell, who is 400-162 in his career. He is 100-4 since his 300th victory in the 2011-12 season, the same year his team won the Class 4A state championship.
Senior Kiara Desamours has been with the Tigers for every one of the last 100 wins for Donnell. That includes three straight trips to Lakeland for the FHSAA state finals.
“It’s great (to play under Donnell), a lot of coaches around here don’t have such an established reputation. I remember when he got his 300th win, it feels like yesterday,” Desamours said with a laugh. She led the Tigers (4-0) with 25 points against the Vikings (4-2), all scored in the first half.
“I feel like without him I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish the things I have today. He played a huge role in my whole high school basketball career.”
Donnell, who is in his 15th season with the Tigers, hopes to bring more success to the school on his way to the next milestone: 500.
“I was so glad that Mr. Carl Burnside (the school’s principal) gave me the opportunity to start the program here and that he believed in me to build this program,” Donnell added.
“You have visions of where you think your program should be and we’ve definitely exceeded what I ever thought was going to happen at Dunbar High School. But we’re happy, and we think it’s going to happen for a long, long, long time. Hopefully it does, then maybe I’ll be standing here for 1,000 wins.”