Faith drives Dunn to be better person, coach
Ronald Reagan once gave sage advice that to have success, you should surround yourself with good people. Billy Dunn took that approach in building his coaching staff when he took over as the head coach of the Emmaus girls' basketball team a year ago. If others follow that advice, it's very likely that Billy Dunn would be one of their choices.
Most conversations with Dunn about his basketball team start with one of two areas; his coaches or his players. Dunn was very careful to craft a coaching staff that he thought would not only compliment his skill set, but would go above and beyond his skill set. Each member - Carl Scheitrum, Chico Schlonecker, Jose Medina and Jeff Williams - get much of the credit from Dunn for starting the turnaround in Emmaus girls basketball.
"I knew I needed coaches that would, in some cases, surpass what I brought to the table and I was fortunate to find people who do that and are great at working with the girls," explained Dunn.
Scheitrum was chosen not only for his wisdom of the game, but for his personal discipline, which is greatly admired by Dunn. Schlonecker added strong credibility on the court and Medina brought what Dunn calls "a ton of energy" to the team and is also a strong game strategist. And Dunn believes that Williams will be moving to a head coaching position before long, because he's an all-around strong basketball coach.
As for his players, Dunn believes that their hard work is what got them pointed in the right direction last season and he's excited about the remaining players that he has to take into the 2012-2013 season.
Actually, Dunn doesn't like to talk about himself very much, but he will readily talk about his passions in life. Chief among them is his faith in God, which drives everything he does. Dunn's faith brought him to be a part of Baseball Chapel, which ministers to professional baseball players. Dunn spent five seasons providing pastoring and life skills to members of the Reading Phillies, including Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard and Gavin Floyd.
"It really was all about being there for them to talk about their faith and we helped them to deal with the stress," Dunn said. "You have to realize that young players like that do have a lot of stress in their lives and we were there to listen, give some advice and just help however possible."
During the offseason, Dunn traveled to Ecuador with his daughter to help complete an orphanage that will house 35 boys. Trips like that, combined with his strong faith, caused Dunn and a friend to conceive HumanKind Water.
"We were sitting in a Starbucks one day and they were donating five percent of the proceeds from their bottled water to bring clean water to areas of the world that were in desperate need. We just thought, wouldn't it be great if you could contribute 100 percent?" Dunn said.
The idea came to fruition about a year ago and took off when HumanKind won Wal-Mart's "Get on the shelf" promotion, making HumanKind water available at the retail giant.
"We should be on the shelves in about 30 days and the profits all go to digging wells, building rain catching systems and filtration systems. People dying from unclean water is a solvable disease," said Dunn. "Until you have seen the suffering that the lack of clean water brings, you can't imagine how horrible it truly is."
Dunn admits that he's still somewhat of a work in progress, but he credits his wife, Cindy, with helping him continue to grow.
"I'm really blessed to have a great family," he said. "Cindy is my best resource. She lets me know when I'm not handling things the right way, she is a great presence in my life."
Dunn is working especially on his focus and discipline and again, credits his wife and his assistant coaches with teaching him how to be a better person and coach.
"There are still ways for me to improve as a person and as a coach," he said. "I want to be the best I can in both areas and let people see how much my faith impacts my life."
For Dunn, who is a pastor at Faith Church in Trexlertown, it all comes back around to his faith.
"I am so blessed to be where I am and I wouldn't have gotten here without my faith in God," Dunn said. "With my faith and my incredible family, I just know every day how truly blessed I am."