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Draper Journal

New JDCHS athletic director brings loyalty, vision to sports program

Sep 07, 2023 02:36PM ● By Catherine Garrett

New JDCHS athletic director Danny Larson stands with his family following a Soaring Eagle football game two years ago during Dallas Larson’s senior season. From left, son D.J. Danny, son Dallas (No.15), wife Angie and daughter Jeanne. (Danny Larson)

New Juan Diego Catholic High School Athletic Director Danny Larson may have a new title this school year, but he is far from unfamiliar with the sports programs. Long before his sons were both All-State football players for the Soaring Eagle, he was involved for 10 years “as just a dad” with Juan Diego Youth Football. He has also been an Assistant Dean, Dean of Students and Associate Athletic Director which helps him feel even more comfortable to now sit in the AD chair.

“We have been a part of the JDCHS football family for 16 years,” Larson said. “I just have such a passion for this school and sports and am very excited to be in this position.”

“Danny is a natural leader, is extremely passionate about Juan Diego and our athletic program and he has a good vision about where he wanted to go,” said JDCHS principal Galey Colosimo, who solidified the hire in early June. “We like to reward from within. We like to be loyal to those who are loyal to us and we all felt that with Danny.”

Larson’s initial focus is one of unity with a “We Are One” campaign. 

“We want to build support within our own walls first and then extend that to some community outreach with our great neighbors,” he said. “The real message for our athletes and students is that when you wear anything that says ‘Juan Diego’ you are representing all of us and we want to either be a participant or a supporter within that.”

It's a message he raised his children with, particularly his sons D.J.—who was an All-State lineman—and Dallas, who was the state’s leading rusher during his All-State campaign in the fall of 2021. “I always told them to do their last name proud,” Larson said. “But, in reality, they’ve built me as much as I’ve built them.” 

On campus, Larson isn’t just the AD. He has also been assisting on the football and baseball coaching staffs the past few seasons and will continue to do so. D.J. has also been on the sidelines with him serving as the offensive and defensive lines coach and will now take over as the offensive coordinator role as a young 22 year old. “D.J. helped with the freshman team for a couple of years and then the offensive line last year,” Larson said. “They figured nobody knows the offense better than him.”

Sports have been part of Larson’s life for as long as he can remember. After playing football at West High, he went on collegiately to Dixie State for a year before he was injured, called it a career and married his wife Angie. As their sons grew, Larson started coaching D.J. and Dallas through the youth football ranks while Angie helped with team mom duties, including a four-year stint for the high school program. “We’ve always been heavily involved and it’s always been a family event,” Larson said, noting that they will have two freshmen granddaughters playing for the JDCHS softball team in the spring.

Larson said he and his family are thrilled to continue to cheer and support all of the school’s athletic programs as he assumes his new position for the 2023-24 school year. “We already have great coaches in place that will simply continue to build upon the strong tradition we have here,” he said. λ