Breen inducted into Ohio home’s sports hall of fameTraveled back to Lorain for ceremony
Dan Breen has received plenty of recognition in Fairfield for his coaching career and his community efforts, but he was surprised when his hometown called to offer the same praise.
Breen hails from Lorain, Ohio, and was enshrined into the Lorain Sports Hall of Fame in a ceremony May 1 at Deluca’s Place in the Park in Lorain.
“I left Lorain 45 years ago and never moved back,” Breen said. “I was pleasantly surprised they remembered me.”
The Lorain sporting community honored Breen for his coaching career in Fairfield, his high school career and for playing junior college basketball at Lorain County Community College. Seven other individuals were inducted, along with two full teams in a ceremony that was attended by nearly 500 people.
Lorain was once a booming industrial city, with plenty of shipping and steel businesses. In fact, Breen’s alma mater, Loraine High School, once had sports teams that were known as the Steelmen. Breen was an all-conference high school basketball player, and then played at Parsons College in Fairfield once his junior college career in Ohio concluded.
“He will always be proud of where he came from,” said Tina Breen, Dan’s wife. “He mentioned in his speech that when you played and competed for Lorain High [School] you were fearless.”
His illustrious coaching career at Fairfield High School has been well documented. He took the “Trojanettes” girls’ basketball team to five state final fours and won a state championship. The title came in 1983, when Fairfield defeated Des Moines Hoover 60-50.
“[The success] meant a lot to me because it established a sense of consistency with the program,” Breen said. “We had a lot of great kids and a ton of support. It was such a great time for our community.”
From 1972-88 he patrolled the sidelines, amassing a 336-60 record. In his tenure, Fairfield won 13 straight conference titles, had 13 straight 20-win seasons, and even had a stretch where they won 94 straight home games. In 2005 he was inducted into the Iowa Girls Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
The Ohio award ceremony itself was a great moment for Breen, not only because of the recognition, but also because he got to see friends he hadn’t seen for many long years.
“There were a few people who came from Michigan and even Florida to be there,” Breen said. “In some ways that was my favorite part, seeing old teammates and coaches. That meant a lot to me.”