The Maine Man
Red Dean was not always a runner, but he was always a competitor and strove for excellence in all that he did. He excelled in the popular sports of baseball, football, and basketball, including playing for the Milwaukee Braves and being inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.
He coached these sports and taught mathematics in the SAD9 Wilton-Farmington system where he passed on the lessons of hard work and that a job worth doing was worth doing well. He always maintained the importance of doing things the right way, remembering that family, integrity, and friendship were more important than recognition or material gains.
Warren N. “Red” Dean was born in West Paris, on January 27, 1936. He graduated from Greenville High School in 1954 and from Farmington State Teachers College in 1961, also getting his master’s degree there in 1968. He married Jane Dennison of Greenville and had two sons, Michael and Timothy, and a daughter, Bethany.
In the early-to-mid 1970s forces came together or the stars lined up and Red was teaching at Mount Blue High School where fellow teachers Dennis Morrill and Dick Brown (later Athletes West trainer to Mary Decker, American record holder in the mile and many other distances) were involved in friendly running competition that caused the overweight baseball coach to say he could beat them both.
Not long after that Danny Paul, Hall of Fame Runner from Portland, joined the English Department and started coaching the cross country team. Red and Danny became fast friends with their shared beliefs, and soon began training together. He even got Red to run his first race in Greenville, where he finished 2nd. The rest is history!
Red really got involved. He was always there when runners came to the Farmington area, whether it was to welcome them to running events he helped organize, such as the Northern Lights 5 Mile Run, or to go on a training run with the Sandy River Runners. Maybe it was just a run with Red from the high school, or a run on the great trails behind the Franklin County Hospital. Of course afterwards they always had to join he, Jane, and the family at their home to share friendship, food, drink, and maybe dare to challenge Red on his one hole golf course in the front yard.
Then in the 1980s Red proved he was a runner to be reckoned with by becoming a top masters runner. When he reached the 50 and over age group he showed he was nearly unbeatable in Maine, New England, and the country.
Among his achievements: Central Maine Strider Runner of the Year 1986; Maine Running & Outing Runner of the Year 1988; Maine Track Club Runner of the Year 1989; and New England Sports Publication Maine Runner of the Year 1989.
His PRs include: New England AC 15-K Championship, Wilton, N.H., 1st 50+ (56:22) 1988; New England AC 10-K Championship, Smithfield, R.I., 1st 50+ (37:48) 1988; New England AC 8-K Championship, Lowell, Mass., 2nd 50+ (28:34) 1988; Forest Avenue Mile, Portland, 1st 50+, 8th place (4:51) 1988; Portland Boys Club 5 Mile, 1st 50+, 46/600 runners (28:58) 1988; Terry Fox 5-K, Bangor, 1st 50+,16/350 runners (17:21) 1988; Doc’s Tavern, Biddeford, 1st 50+,12/300 runners (16:18) 1988; Bowdoin & Back 10 Mile, 1st 50+, 8/275 runners (57:47) 1988; lC1-USRA Masters National 8-K Championship, Naples, Fla., 5th 45-50 (28:32) 1989.
During Red’s all too short life and running career, he remained true to his Maine character and proved you can excel in many areas of life without sacrificing the true values of family, friendships, and honest competition.
Red Dean died of complications following surgery on February 7, 2001.