July 13, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Irvine community mourns the death of popular baseball and football coach Casey Dumont

Casey Dumont was a popular assistant baseball coach at Irvine High. (Photo courtesy Irvine High baseball)

Irvine High coaches and former and current athletes are mourning the death of popular assistant coach Casey Dumont, who died late Saturday night following sudden cardiac arrest, according to Irvine Principal Monica Colunga.

Dumont, 42, had ties to both the Irvine baseball and football programs and the special education program.

“The loss of Casey will have a profound affect on our Irvine High family,” Colunga said in a release to the Irvine athletic community.

Counselors were being made available Monday for students who knew Dumont.

Dumont had been the lead assistant coach on Coach Gabriel Cota’s varsity baseball team.

“Casey was an extremely loved person,” Cota said. “As a coach, special education teacher, mentor and friend he brought such a great light into everyone he was in contact with. Being at Irvine High School over the last 10 years he was able to impact so many lives, as is evident by those who have reached out to us. 

“In the baseball and football programs he embodied our values of being more interested in developing the entire person and not just the student athlete. Casey was always looking for a way to help each student reach their fullest potential. His impact will leave a lasting impression for Irvine High and those he was in contact with forever.”

Since the announcement of Dumont’s death, many posted comments on social media noting the coach’s lasting impact on student athletes.

“We had been assistant coaches for a while,” Cota said. “We were both in the special ed program together and we kind of did everything hand in hand. He was my right hand man for sure. In building the program, we obviously talked that we want to win ball games, but that’s not the most important thing.

“He kind of embodied what we talk about in the baseball program in trying to develop the person first, sports will take care of itself later. We’re more interested in helping these young men develop into the best human beings possible. We can tell from the people who have reached out to us and put stuff on social media he meant a lot to a lot of people in every aspect.

“If you came into contact with Casey, you had a good experience with him. He was one of those guys who would do everything he could to help these kids reach their fullest potential. It’s obviously going to be a huge loss and something that we’re not going to be able to replace, but you kind of hang on to those memories that he made with everybody.”

Cota said Dumont grew up in the high desert area and played college baseball at Redlands University. He was head coach at Beaumont High School for several years before becoming an assistant coach at Canyon High.

Then he found a home at Irvine.

“It was just the right fit for him at the time and he kind of came over and engrained himself in the culture,” Cota said. “He’s one of those guys who is going to be everwhere on campus and everyone is going to have some contact with him. It’s been really cool to see the posts on Instagram and seeing how many kids he reached.”

Dumont was also the head freshman football coach at Irvine for a number of years and this year was the defensive coordinator for the freshman squad.

“Casey was a fantastic individual,” varsity football coach Tom Ricci said. “He cared for our players and students like they were his own. He was always concerned about their health and well being, sometimes at the cost of his own health. He was funny and brought a light attitude to the staff.

“He’s one of those guys who is irreplaceable. He will leave a hole in our staff and in our hearts. He will be missed more than he ever thought possible.”

“He leaves us with his legacy of always believing in and championing all students that he was involved with,” Colunga, the principal, added.

Dumont is survived by a young daughter and his parents, Cota said.

A memorial vigil for Dupont will be Monday night at Irvine Stadium. A gofundmeaccount has been established in Dumont’s name and Irvine officials are asking those who knew him to contribute.

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