Discover Your 'Authentic Voice': 2021 SVA Commencement Highlights and Marilyn Minter's Keynote Speech - SVA - SVA Features

Discover Your 'Authentic Voice': 2021 SVA Commencement Highlights and Marilyn Minter's Keynote Speech - SVA - SVA Features Discover Your 'Authentic Voice': 2021 SVA Commencement Highlights and Marilyn Minter's Keynote Speech - SVA - SVA Features Posted: 23 May 2021 12:00 AM PDT One of the last projects the great  Milton Glaser —the legendary graphic designer, longtime School of Visual Arts faculty member and acting chairman of the SVA Board—was working on before his death last year was "Together," an effort to encourage fellow feeling despite the isolation brought on by COVID-19. As always, Glaser was reminding us of our shared humanity, which transcends borders, circumstances and physical space. And while we weren't together in person to celebrate the School of Visual Arts' 46th annual commencement exercises, in spirit, we were. The 2021 Commencement—which took place onl

Former Saginaw High, college coach Lou Dawkins finds peace in Oklahoma -

After spending more than 20 seasons in gyms and lockerrooms in high schools and colleges, Lou Dawkins is enjoying his coaching sabbatical.

But once a coach, always a coach.

Dawkins, the former Saginaw High basketball coach and player, is back in Oklahoma, where he came a Tulsa legend in helping lead the Golden Hurricane to the 1994 Sweet 16.

He’s not coaching, at least not publicly.

But Elijah Legacy Dawkins is getting some intensive private coaching from his dad, who spends two hours a day coaching his 4-year-old son.

“He’s excited to go outside and play … he loves sports,” Dawkins said. “He meets me at the door every day. We’ve been out of school, so I have him outside twice a day working on his skills in basketball and football.”

Dawkins spent 13 years coaching at Saginaw High, the last seven as the varsity coach. He was 149-28 with two state championships in seven seasons before resigning in 2011. He spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Northern Illinois and two seasons as an assistant at Cleveland State before the staff was let go in 2019.

He found a home in Muskogee, Oklahoma, 25 miles from Tulsa. It is also the hometown of his wife, Latricia Vaughn-Dawkins. Vaughn-Dawkins took a job as a school principal in Muskogee, while Dawkins became the Muskogee district athletic director for kindergarten through sixth grade. He was also tasked with creating the Rougher Youth Sports Academy.

“I’m bringing a little Saginaw philosophy here,” Dawkins said. “We’re implementing a sports system here for elementary-age kids. Nobody in the state of Oklahoma has a sports system for elementary kids. They don’t compete until the seventh grade.”

Dawkins started flag football in the fall with 250 students participating in a six-week season. He took different groups of students to Tulsa football and basketball games. During the winter, Dawkins started boys and girls basketball leagues, with a six-week season.

“We probably had close to 700 fans every Saturday … it was incredible,” Dawkins said. “The kids are not at the same level as the players in Saginaw. It’s a learning process for everybody. The kids eventually got better.

“They started to understand. Kids were jumping into the bleachers for the ball and running over their parents in the stands. We’re trying to feed our high school here so they can improve and get better. In the spring, we were going to implement track. We don’t have to really worry about baseball and football too much. This is baseball and football country.”

The program, in coordination with the Muskogee Police Department, costs $10 to participate, with students getting a jersey. The program is driven by volunteers.

Lou Dawkins resigns as Saginaw High boys basketball coach and AD

Saginaw High School varsity Boys Basketball Coach and Athletic Director Lou Dawkins, right, talks to former player and current Michigan State forward Draymond Green in the hallway of Saginaw High School, 3100 Webber in Saginaw. During a press conference, Dawkins announced his resignation from both positions effective at the end of the school year. (Jeff Schrier | File)The Saginaw News

And Dawkins can spend time with his family.

“There were times, before the coronavirus, when I’d be home with my son by 2 p.m.,” Dawkins said. “I haven’t been home by 2 p.m. since high school. After all those years of spending night and day as a coach or athletic director, it’s nice to be home. College was fun. I loved it. I enjoyed it. But there’s nothing like being around your family.”

Both parents found a warm welcome in their return to Oklahoma.

“We had opportunities to stay in Cleveland, but my wife has been following me the past 25 years so when the opportunity came for me to follow her, we took it,” Dawkins said. “She’s home with family and friends, and a lot of her college friends are still here.

“And there are probably 10 players from that Tulsa Sweet 16 team that decided to stay here. It was like a reunion when I came back. It was fun watching football games together. To come to Oklahoma was an easy decision.”

After starring at Saginaw High, Dawkins went to Tulsa, where he finished his career as one of the top 10 in Tulsa history in assists (339) and steals (176). His 3-pointer in a second-round win over Oklahoma State led the Golden Hurricane to the 1994 Sweet 16.

“I love what I’m doing,” Dawkins said. “I love kids. I love watching them improve. I don’t know if I’ll ever get into coaching again. There are some places around here that intrigue me, but unless Tulsa calls ... that would be the only place I would go.

“I’m having too much fun coaching my next superstar every day. We’re having fun.”

Lou Dawkins, D.L. Hughley

Comedian D.L. Hughley, right, shakes hands with Lou Dawkins, father of recently deceased 14-year-old Dorian Dawkins, after performing at the "Show Your Heart" Benefit Comedy Concert in Dawkins' honor at Delta College's Pioneer Gym Friday night. Hughley, who is considered a family friend of the Dawkins, performed his comedy set and ended the night with a heartfelt speech about the Dawkins family.The Saginaw News

His son’s middle name, Legacy, is a tribute to Dawkins’ son Dorian, who died from a heart malfunction in 2009 while playing basketball. He was 14. Dorian Dawkins was born in 1995 in Muskogee.

The Dawkins family was featured in the HBO documentary, “The Scheme,” which focused on Dawkins’ older son Christian Dawkins, who was in the middle of an FBI sting targeting illegal payments to college basketball recruits.

“The last two to three years have been hell on all of us,” Dawkins said. “I watched the show. It was something that needed to be said. Christian needed to tell his story from his point of view, from the family’s point of view. I’m praying the appeals judge looks at everything and sets him free.

“It’s incredible the things he’s been able to maintain and secure during this crisis. Nothing surprises me with him … extremely intelligent. I’m just smiling.”

Dawkins does a lot of smiling. Saginaw will always be his home, but Muskogee and Tulsa also hold special places in his heart.

“I love what I’m doing,” Dawkins said. “I have time to appreciate my family, my son. I’ve been blessed.”


‘Scheme’ director calls Saginaw’s Christian Dawkins a ‘savant’

Saginaw’s Lou Dawkins fired as Cleveland State cleans house

Lou Dawkins’ resignation as Saginaw High coach evokes feelings of gratitude


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