Arslanian honored for his legacy

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Former Dixie State University football coach Sark Arslanian received the honor of having the Hansen Stadium football field named after him Saturday night. 

As announced Saturday night at the Hall of Fame ceremony, the athletic department at Dixie State University named the field during halftime at the DSU home opening football game. Arslanian was joined on the field by the 1963 football team.

His contributions to Dixie State athletics were honorable to the university, which appended to the grounds of why he was given this tribute.

Arslanian is a Dixie State alumnus and previously played football for DSU. As announced during the halftime event, in Arslanian’s younger years, he went on a road trip to find a college where he could play football in the sun. He got a flat tire in St. George. One of the St. George residents mentioned Dixie State, and that is where he decided to spend the remainder of his football career. Not only did he play football, but he also played basketball, ran track and became the student body president for Dixie. 

After graduating from DSU in 1949, he began his coaching career at a junior high school. He then progressed as the athletic director for Dixie State in 1955. Among those duties he was also given the title of head football and baseball coach.

He coached the 1963 football team to an undefeated season, and no Dixie team has had that record since.

“Sark has left an amazing impact on not just the athletic programs, but the school at large,” Athletic Director Jason Boothe said. “When he arrived here, the future of the school was in question, [due to financial instability]. Through his recruiting efforts of not just athletes, but other students as well, he was integral in helping save the school.”

Boothe said the large jump in enrollment from recruiting helped provide the necessary financial stability for the school.

After those accomplishments, Arslanian went on to be the head coach at Weber State University. He later became the head coach at Colorado State University.

“Sark had an amazing influence on the boys that he coached,” said Brad Last, the vice president of development. “It is amazing to observe the relationship between Sark and his players even today. He is nearly 90, and his players are in their late 60s and early 70s, but there is still a deep feeling of love and respect between them.”

His efforts have changed the programs of many football teams—but he didn’t stop there. He went on to coach professional football teams in other countries as well as introducing American football in Armenia.

Prior to that, he became a professional scout for leagues in the U.S. as well as Canadian football in 1982.

Though he is no longer involved in Dixie State Athletics, his name will live on in the new Sark Arslanian Field.

“His legacy will not be forgotten,” Boothe said. “We are very proud of our athletic history here. We have enjoyed a lot of success in our past, and we will assuredly enjoy a lot of success into the future…but we would not be where we are today without someone like Sark. His true impact cannot be fully measured.”