Monday is the 80th birthday of Dick Trone. I am his daughter, Holly Hunt, and this week I have hijacked his column to pass on information about him.
Richard R. Trone was born on June 10, 1933, to Shirley R. Trone and Anita Crockett Trone in Fresno. He lived there until his dad was offered a teaching and coaching job in Del Norte County, so off they went to make Crescent City their home, where Dick's love for Del Norte County and everything blue and gold began.
Dick (I will refer to him as this instead of my dad) played basketball and baseball in junior high and his first year of high school, as well as running track, but it was his sophomore year that he found his real love, football. So for the remainder of his high school years he was a four-sport athlete, and his name can even be found on the red banner, which used to be located in the high school gym, for baseball. He was a catcher. This banner is now preserved at the Del Norte Museum. Football will always be his first love.
After graduating from Del Norte, Dick went on to Humboldt State to participate in football and other sports as well as receive an education. Dick was the first person to receive the Mr. Hustle award for work on the football field. Now in the middle of his education, Dick took time off to serve his country in Korea. After serving, he returned to Humboldt, where he received his degree in physical education with a minor in biology.
His first teaching job was in Smith River before he was offered the chance to teach and coach in Twentynine Palms, then Yucca Valley.
Coach Trone was there for 20 years, mentoring many students and athletes. He was always ready to go the extra mile for his athletes, and he spent hours sending film off to many Division 1 universities for Conrad Dobler, as he knew that these schools would not be looking at Twentynine Palms for athletes. Conrad later became a three-time Pro Bowler in the NFL.
Dick knew most of his players would never reach the NFL, but he wanted to instill in them the knowledge that hard work at whatever you choose in life will make you a success.
In 1980, Dick received the call that would bring him home, and he jumped at the chance. Most people are not lucky enough to find their passion in life, but Coach Trone is. While he liked coaching at Yucca Valley High School, it didn't compare to coming home and coaching at Del Norte.
He feels blessed to have been able to teach and coach the young men and women of Del Norte, and now he gets to share his memories in this column.
So, when attending a sporting event at Del Norte High School, look for Coach Trone on the sidelines cheering the Warriors on, and if you see him around Monday be sure to wish him a Happy 80 years young.