Christopher Columbus High School

A Catholic School for Young Men in the Marist Tradition since 1958
News & Calendar
News Archive

A Dunn Deal - Dave Dunn returns as head football coach at Columbus High School

The Marist Brothers and the administration of Columbus High School are pleased and very proud to announce the hiring of Dave Dunn as head football coach, effective immediately. This marks Dunn's second tenure at the helm of Explorer football; he led the team to back-to-back district titles in 1999 and 2000.

Dunn brings 30 years of coaching experience back to the CCHS campus, both at the college and high school level. Coaching has been in his blood since he finished an outstanding collegiate playing career at the University of San Diego, where he anchored the defense as a nose guard for the Toreros from 1986-89; Dunn also was named team captain for his junior and senior seasons. After coaching the defensive line at USD in 1990, Dunn had a two-year stint as player/coach for the Granz Giants in Austria, leading the team to an overall record of 16-4. 

In the fall of 1992, Dunn coached the outside linebackers at Indiana State; from there, he became the head coach of Masuk High School in Monroe, CN, winning two division championships in four years while compiling a record of 29-12.

Dunn returned to college ranks for the 1997-98 seasons, serving as defensive line and strength coach at Harvard University. The '97 squad went 9-1 and captured the Ivy League title.

From Cambridge, Dunn moved south to Westchester to coach the Columbus Explorers. Dunn led CCHS back to the playoffs after a six-year absence, and was the first football coach in Columbus history to win consecutive district titles. His teams posted a record of 17-4 for the 1999-2000 seasons.

His next head coaching stop was at John Paul II in Boca Raton from 2001-02, reaching the playoffs in both seasons. His success in South Florida caught the attention of legendary coach Howard Schellenberger, who hired Dunn to coach running backs and special teams at Florida Atlantic University. Dunn helped the Owls reach the NCAA Division I-AA national semifinals in 2003. 

Dunn then took on the challenge of becoming the first head coach at Becker College in Worcester, MA, and recruited 90 student-athletes in just nine months to get the program off the ground. After the 2005 season, Dunn was named head coach at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. In ten years at Catholic, he brought credibility and stability to the Program, and helped the Cardinals capture the ECAC Championship in 2008. 

Dunn moved on to Marshall University in 2016, coaching tight ends on a staff that included CCHS alumnus and old friend Alex Mirabal. For the past two seasons, Dunn has served as Offensive Coordinator at Colby College in Maine. 

With his vast coaching experience, his familiarity with the Columbus family and possessing strong Catholic morals, Dave Dunn was the first choice to replace Chris Merritt as the head coach of Explorer football. As Principal David Pugh stated, "Dave Dunn is an outstanding football coach - his accomplishments speak for themselves. Dave has been tremendously successful at both the high school and college levels, but what sets him apart is his character. Dave truly is a Marist educator; he knows and practices the values we believe in at Christopher Columbus, and he is the perfect role model for our student/athletes. That was clear 20 years ago, and we are so pleased to have him back again as the leader of our football program."
"First and foremost, I'd like to express my appreciation to the Christopher Columbus administration and staff," said Dunn. "This is one of the premier programs in the country; this isn't a job where I have to come in and start from scratch. The foundation has been set, and I just have to add to it. I look forward to starting with the program on January 7 - we are going to hit the ground running. My wife Danisha and my daughter Allison can't wait to get to Miami, and my son Jack, who is a freshman at Yale, is really pumped about me taking the job." 

For Columbus football, it is now a Dunn Deal - the future looks bright, and as always, we expect to win. 
Christopher Columbus High School | 3000 SW 87 Avenue | Miami, FL 33165 | (305) 223-5650
Christopher Columbus High School is a private, Roman Catholic, college-preparatory high school, conducted by the Marist Brothers of the Schools. We aim to make Jesus Christ known and loved, as we prepare young men for higher education and for their continuous challenge of harmonizing faith, culture and life. We foster a family spirit among all who are committed to the success of the school and promote opportunities to work together as a community of learners. 

Columbus is fully accredited by Cognia and is a member of the Marist Association of Secondary schools, the National Catholic Education Association and the Independent Schools of South Florida.