Longtime Arkansas Tech men's golf coach Dave Falconer passes away

RUSSELLVILLE, Arkansas (ATU)  Arkansas Tech University is deeply saddened to report the passing of longtime head men's golf coach and former assistant men's basketball coach Dave Falconer at his home early Saturday morning, June 11 following a nearly year-long battle with lung cancer.

Falconer, 73, spent the past 22 years as the Wonder Boys Head Golf Coach and also spent eight years from 1987-95 as an assistant basketball coach on Marty Barnes' staff with the Wonder Boys. In addition to his coaching duties at Tech, Falconer also served as the director of Tech's athletic facilities before retiring from that position in 2009.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Coach (Dave) Falconer. He served our athletic department in a variety of capacities over his 24 year association with Arkansas Tech University," Tech Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Steve Mullins said Sunday. "He did an outstanding job leading our men's golf program and also had a lot of success assisting our men's basketball program. He touched the lives of thousands of student-athletes at Tech and will be tremendously missed.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Coach Falconer's family at this time."

While coaching the Wonder Boys Golf program the past 22 years, Falconer, who had recently announced his retirement as Tech's golf coach, led Tech to five conference championships and five conference runner-up finishes, including helping Tech take home its first and only Gulf South Conference title in 2004 and earned three Coach of the Year accolades, including earning GSC Coach of the Year honors in 2004. Along with winning five conference titles, Falconer also helped lead the Wonder Boys to 10 national postseason tournament competitions, including qualifying for the NCAA Division II Tournament seven times, including twice in the last three seasons and advancing to the NCAA Division II National Tournament in 1998.

Along with his team's successes, Falconer also coached three All-Americans (David Dyer, Jeff Jenkins and Nick Quast), three Ping NCAA Division II All-South Region honorees (Jarred Carlyle, B.J. Hawkins and Nick Quast) and 21 All-Conference golfers, including 13 All-GSC performers. Additionally, he coached three CoSIDA Academic All-District VI selections, one CoSIDA Academic All-American and four GSC All-Academic Men's Golf Team honorees.

While serving as an assistant basketball coach for the Wonder Boys, Falconer, who was known for his match-up defenses and his shooting techniques, was a part of four Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference (AIC) Championship teams, including helping Tech win three consecutive AIC titles from 1993-95 and a 1995 NAIA National Tournament Final Four appearance. He also helped coach 10 All-AIC performers, six NAIA All-Americans and five CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and Academic All-District VI honorees.

Prior to coming to Tech, Falconer spent nine years as an assistant basketball, football and track coach and also spent one season as the girls head basketball coach at Russellville High School and before coming to the River Valley, Falconer served as the head boys basketball coach at Labette County High School in Altamont, Kan., from 1972-79.

Falconer, who has over 48 years of coaching experience both at the high school and collegiate level, began his coaching career in 1963 at Kincaid High School in Kincaid, Kan. At Kincaid, Falconer served as the school's head basketball, football and baseball coach. After his three year stint at Kincaid, Falconer served as the head basketball, assistant football and assistant track and field coach at Skyline High School in Pratt, Kan., from 1966-70, before moving to Goddard High School in Goddard, Kan., as the head boys basketball coach from 1970-72.

While a high school coach in Kansas, Falconer won Coach of the Year honors twice from the Southeast Kansas Conference and his teams won eight conference championships.

The Parsons, Kan., native, who earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Pittsburg State University in 1963, played and lettered for two years as a guard at Parsons Junior College. In high school at Parsons, Falconer was a three-year letterman at guard in basketball and also earned two letters in both football and golf. He was preceded in death by his parents, David Wilfred "W.D." and Mary Anne Rachels Falconer and his wife, Doris Rae.

Falconer, who was born on Dec. 11, 1937, is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, David A. Falconer, Jr., and his wife, Kim of Tampa, Fla.; a daughter and son-in-law, Jennifer A. and Richard Roberts of Russellville; five grandchildren, Katie and Ryan Roberts, both of Russellville and Lily, Maribella and Grace Falconer, all of Tampa and a special friend, Dorothy Lawless of Russellville.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14 at Shinn Chapel in Russellville with the Rev. Tom Walker officiating and a visitation is scheduled for Monday, June 13 from 5-7 p.m. at the Shinn Funeral Home. The family has asked that memorials be made to the Russellville chapter of the American Cancer Society.