The Arroyo Grande Athletic Foundation will host its annual Hall of Fame dinner on Saturday, January 26 at the South County Regional Center in Arroyo Grande. They’ll also be inducting four of its new Hall of Fame members. One inductee, Dwight MacDonald, has had as big of an impact on Eagles’ athletics as anyone in its history.
“There is no doubt that Dwight is a legend at Arroyo Grande High School,” AGHS athletic director Stephen Field said.
From athletic director and coach to teacher and mentor, Dwight MacDonald served 33 years in the Arroyo Grande athletics department, and now, his name will be etched in history as a Hall of Famer.
“It means a lot. It’s definitely humbling, and I’m very proud to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” MacDonald said. “I’ve had the luxury of working with some incredible people. 33 years flew. It was an incredible and outstanding experience.”
Dwight took over as athletic director in 1990, and under his guidance, the Eagles won 15 CIF Southern Section championships, including one while Dwight was the head coach of the girls basketball team in 2012. AGHS also won multiple State championships, as well as countless League titles. That success put Arroyo Grande athletics on the map, for good.
“My vision was to be able to compete at the state level with any school,” MacDonald said. “We talked about what we needed to do not only be the best program on the Central Coast, not only the best program in the region but be the best program in the state.”
Dwight didn’t just care about one or two sports, as his longtime assistant Mike McAustin says, Dwight was invested in every sport.
“The success of our programs is based on the fact that every program is significant and important to the school,” McAustin explained. “All coaches knew that if they really needed something, Dwight was going to come through and provide for them whenever they needed to be successful.”
“We didn’t have the luxuries of some of the other schools that we would compete against in the Southern Section,” MacDonald added. “We did it with a blue-collar work ethic, coaches that were willing to work hard, and athletes that were willing to buy in.”
Stephen Field took over as athletic director when Dwight when stepped down in 2017. The bar was set high, but Stephen was excited to continue Dwight’s legacy in holding Arroyo Grande High School to the highest of standards.
“He’s just a great pillar of support,” Field said. “He continues that now. He’s put in his time, and he continues to support us however he can.”
Richard Loomis, Nadia Lopez-Paxton, and Mark Lewis round out the 2019 Hall of Fame Class.