Arkansas Tech University head football coach and physical education
faculty member Don Dempsey and former Arkansas Tech student-athletes
D.A. Dahlke and Belinda Baker-Stephens will be inducted into the
Mountain Home High School Athletic Hall of Honor on Saturday, Oct. 13.
The Mountain Home High School Athletic Hall of Honor is inducting its
third class in 2012. Dempsey, Dahlke and Baker-Stephens were selected
for induction from among more than 200 nominees.
Dempsey is best known in Arkansas Tech circles for leading the Wonder
Boys to Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference championships in 1968, 1970
and 1971 and a berth in the 1971 NAIA national championship game.
In Mountain Home, he is known as the coach who built a winning football tradition the likes of which they had never seen.
Dempsey became head coach of the Mountain Home Bombers in 1955,
shortly after he completed an All-America collegiate playing career and
graduated from Arkansas Tech.
Before Dempsey's arrival, the Bombers had never won more than six
games in a season. In Dempsey's first two seasons, Mountain Home posted
back-to-back overall records of 9-2, won the 1A Conference championship
in 1955 and finished as conference runner-up in 1956.
Fifty-five years after the fact, Dempsey's 1957 Mountain Home team is
still remembered as one of the greatest in school history. The Bombers
finished 11-1 overall and won their second 1A Conference title in three
The 11 wins remain a school record, a figure that has only been matched once (1986) in Mountain Home.
The 1958 Bombers, Dempsey's final team at Mountain Home, went 8-2-1
and finished as conference runners-up. Dempsey completed his tenure at
Mountain Home with a 37-7-1 overall record. His .822 winning percentage
is the highest of any head football coach in Mountain Home High School
“My dad really loved his time in Mountain Home,” Dempsey’s daughter
Donna Gwaltney told the selection committee. “My parents made some great
friends that have been special to them all their lives. My dad is very
much honored to be included in this group and says thanks to all who
supported him in his time there and beyond.”
Dempsey returned to Arkansas Tech as assistant football coach and
instructor of physical education in 1959. He served as the Wonder Boys'
head coach from 1967-75 and remained on the physical education faculty
until 1996. He is now retired and living in Russellville.
Baker-Stephens helped Mountain Home win back-to-back state volleyball
championships in 1976 and 1977. She was named all-district in
volleyball for her sophomore, junior and senior seasons.
She was also a three-time all-district selection in basketball.
Baker-Stephens averaged 27.6 points per game as a high school senior.
Baker-Stephens went on to play volleyball for four years and
basketball for three years at Arkansas Tech. She was a member of three
Arkansas Women's Intercollegiate Sports Association (AWISA) championship
basketball teams with the Golden Suns.
A member of the teaching profession for 28 years, Baker-Stephens has
spent the last 21 years teaching in the schools at Rockwall, Texas.
Dahlke was a starter in football, basketball and baseball at Mountain
Home. He graduated from Mountain Home in 1960 and went on to play
football, basketball and baseball at Arkansas Tech. Dahlke graduated
from Arkansas Tech in 1964.
He was head football coach at Mountain Home from 1969-72, and after a
stint in private business, Dahlke returned to the Mountain Home School
District and served as head junior high basketball coach, assistant
junior high football coach and softball coach during his career.
Dahlke coached four conference championship teams. His 1996 Lady
Bomber softball team advanced to the Class AAAA State Tournament
Now retired, Dahlke raises cattle on his farm near Midway.
Learn more about Arkansas Tech Athletics.