Leland Hafen


Leland “Coach Lee” Hafen (1895-1959)

Leland Hafen was born in Santa Clara, Utah, and after a fine athletic career was signed as an athletic coach at Dixie College in 1926. For the next 20 years, Coach Hafen guided the athletic programs at Dixie, 10 of those years (1926-36) coaching both Dixie High and Dixie College squads.

From 1936-46, he coached only at the high school, but was the athletic director and history teacher at the college. He took the Flyers to 13 state meets in his 20-year coaching span. He won a state championship and finished second on three occasions. Coach Lee possessed a wonderful personality, and made friends wherever he went. He took great pride in Utah’s Dixie and enjoyed telling the many people he met about his homeland. He held many positions of responsibility in both the Intermountain Collegiate Athletic Conference and Utah Activities Association. He served as Dean of Men, teacher and athletic director at Dixie College. As athletic director he fulfilled a lifelong dream when, in 1957, a modern, multipurpose fieldhouse was built under his watchful eye. He was instrumental in starting the first football programs in Dixie. Coach Lee radiated a spirit so intense during athletic contests, and yet so full of love for the game and his boys, that it created an unusual understanding between not only a coach and his team, but a coach and a community. For three decades, he was known by all as “Mr. Dixie Athletics.” He and his wife, the former Elsie Frei, are the parents of four sons and one daughter.