May 27, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Crean Lutheran teacher and coach Dan Fink to be remembered Saturday at service

Coach Dan Fink (far right) with members of the Crean Luthean boys golf team in a photo from 2019. (Photo courtesy Crean Lutheran High School, For OC Sports Zone)

Friends, family members and former players will gather Saturday morning at 11 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Orange to honor Crean Lutheran teacher and coach Dan Fink, who died on Wednesday, Feb. 26 after a brief illness.

The public is invited to the service, according to Crean Lutheran officials. A large turnout is expected.

Fink, who taught theology, was Crean Lutheran’s first boys basketball coach and later went on to have successful runs with the girls and boys golf programs.

“He was a good coach, a good guy,” said Crean Lutheran Athletic Director Eric Olson.

At one point, Olson’s office was close to where Fink’s classroom was and Olson got to hear first-hand his impact.

“I got to listen to him teach for about a full year and his voice and the way he carried himself in front of the students, it was a real presentation of the gospel and what he was teaching,” Olson said. “I was impressed with what a great teacher he was.”

Reporters who covered Coach Fink’s teams in the early days of the program will remember a coach who was always postiive and always supportive. The team struggled for wins in those days, but Coach Fink didn’t seem to get down. He kept battling and wanted to make sure his players were acknowleged in newspaper stories.

Then, when Fink resumed coaching at Crean Lutheran he found considerable success leading the girls and boys golf programs and inspiring many others.

He leaves quite a legacy, one which Crean Lutheran officials will certainly touch on Saturday at the service.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish to honor Fink may donate to the Dan Fink Memorial Endowment at Crean Lutheran High School, officials said.

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com