When Dusty Gunn started his master’s degree program at the United States Sports Academy, he always had the goal of becoming an athletic director at a prestigious institution in the back of his mind.
Now, after spending time as a coach, teacher, healthcare administrator and non-profit director, Gunn has been hired as the Director of Athletics at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, Tenn. The school has an extensive and notable history, having first opened in 1876 and being recognized as the first school in the Chattanooga area to be racially integrated in 1954.
Gunn earned his Master of Sports Science degree in sports coaching from the Academy in 2008.
“When I started my master’s program at the Academy, this was always the goal,” Gunn said. “I knew that one day, I wanted to be an athletic director. I’m really looking forward to working at Notre Dame and being able to build young athletes into successful adults. I’m excited about working with some really great coaches and building on the tradition that already exists at the school.”
Prior to being hired at Notre Dame, Gunn served as the executive director and athletic director for the United Team Sports Center Foundation in Athens, Ga., where he managed a sports facility for at risk student athletes and young people. While there, he developed a leadership academy, wrote grants, and coached youth sports teams. He also worked as an executive director at two different senior health care living facilities. Under his direction, the facilities earned honors from the Chamber of Commerce and the 2014 Georgia Senior Living Association “Hero Award.”
“My Academy education has helped me in every area of my professional life,” Gunn said. “It has obviously helped as a coach and educator, but it was also beneficial to me in business and in senior living care. If you think about, working as a healthcare administrator is like being a coach of a large athletic team. My Academy education helped in planning, leading people, budgeting, and every other aspect of that job.
“I really enjoyed my time studying at the Academy,” he said. “I believe in what the Academy does. It’s mission is unique and necessary in the world.”
Gunn served as a social studies teacher and assistant football coach for six years at Camden County High School in Kingsland, Ga., where the team won back-to-back Georgia state championships and was named “Team of the Decade” by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
He also worked as a physical education teacher and associate athletic director at St. James School in Frederick, Md, and with Team SPARC, a national sports agency identifying and developing athletes for the National Football League.
Gunn also served four years in the United States Coast Guard.
Along with his Academy degree, Gunn holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Maryland and did extensive post-graduate hours in special education from Valdosta State University.