This archived article was written by: Shala Pitchforth
“Coach doesn’t just coach us in basketball; he is coaching us about life,” tells Candice Cornaby of playing for Coach Dave Paur. “He cares for each one of us as individuals, whether on the court or off. He truly wants us to succeed; in basketball and in life.”
Coach Paur is a leader, teacher, coach and inspiration in so many different capacities. As athletic director, he oversees the athletic department at USU-CEU. He is also the head coach for the women’s basketball team. He has coached 31 years, coaching men’s and women’s basketball on a high school and collegiate level.
When Paur first started coaching women, he had to change his mind set of working with male athletes. “A woman’s game is less about strength and more about finesse. It takes passion, patience and a three-point shot,” explains Paur.
Amber Scott, who is a 2010-11 Eagle and plays for Paur, expressed, “I love playing for him. I’ve never had a coach like him before. He has a unique coaching style and brings intensity to every practice, with his stories and his knowledge; I love it!”
Paur says working with women athletes has been extremely gratifying. “I still remain in contact with some of the men I coached over the years, but I made lasting relationships with many of the women I have coached. I have gotten to know them and their families, and have had the privilege to watch them succeed.”
Though many see Paur as a coach and athletic director, he incorporated service for the athletes, the school and the community.
As a staff member at CEU, Paur supports as many events as he can. As a lover of musical theatre, he expressed how impressed he was with USU-CEU’s production of Sweeny Todd. He also attended the dance concert and explained that it always amazes him how creative Melisa Anast, the choreographer, can be.
Another aspect of his life is working with the Addition Recovery Program. “The most rewarding thing I have been blessed to do is help with the Addiction Recovery Program. My wife and I have been working with many strong men and women for four years now. There is nothing better than seeing those who have found strength to get their lives clean and continue to strive to be better,” he says.
Paur and his wife teach a drug and alcohol abuse class every Wednesday night. They talk about other addictions with which people might be struggling and give support to those who have the courage to fight their own battles.
He explained how incredible it is to see a man who was once struggling with alcohol rise above himself and become an example to the community. “I consider myself very lucky to work with people who are trying to overcome great obstacles.”
Not only do Paur and his wife teach Wednesday, but they also dedicate their Sundays to helping others. Sunday afternoon the pair visits the county jail to help anyone struggling, and Sunday evenings they hold a class to help those fight pornography and other sexual addictions.
“A lot of people try to overcome these obstacles by themselves and can’t. It takes support. Whether that support comes from a professional, group session, ecclesiastic leader, or other source they cannot do it by themselves,” he said.
Whenever Paur has any relaxation time, he enjoys watching movies. His favorite movies come from the era 1932-1949. He says, “I like all genres. It depends on the actors/actresses in the films.” In his opinion, “It Happened One Night” is the first real chick flick, and it is still one of the greatest romance movies of all time.
He hopes to continue coaching as long as he is able. “My wife says that I can’t quit until I find another hobby,” he laughed, “but I think I will continue as long as I am physically and emotionally able. I’ll know when I’m not. It might be two years, it might be more, but I’ll know.”
Playing for Coach Paur is an honor, and he is one of those monumental men that bring out the good in those he is around, admit his players. Savana Gines, a former CEU player, said the one thing she learned while playing for coach is, “confidence in myself. He believed in me no matter what. He always believed in me more than I ever believed in myself. “