Richard Lee Hafen
Richard Lee Hafen
Richard Lee Hafen was born in St. George to Elsie and “Coach Lee” Hafen. Reared in the family home located across the street from the original Dixie College campus, Hafen’s participation in sports was to be his destiny and his passion. In 1957, he quarterbacked Walt Brooks’ Dixie High School Flyers to a state football championship, received first team all-state recognition, and was awarded the Thom McAn Trophy as most valuable player. Then-Salt Lake Tribune sports writer Bill Coltrin referred to Hafen as being a “helmeted surgeon.” In that same year, Hafen helped lead Coach Brooks’ Flyers team to a state basketball championship and was named an all-state guard. Upon graduation from Dixie High he received football scholarship offers from Stanford University, University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Utah State University, and Colorado State University; but opted to stay at Dixie and play under the tutelage of legendary Dixie coach Sark Arslanian. The option offense devised by Coach Sark fit well with Richard’s passing and running talents. In 1958, Hafen garnered honorable mention Junior College All-American recognition, and was named first team quarterback for the Intermountain Collegiate Athletic Conference. In 1959, he was selected Junior College All-American quarterback for the West team. Richard also played point guard for the Dixie College basketball team, and shortstop for the baseball team. During the 1960-61 football season he quarterbacked at the University of Utah and played shortstop for the Ute baseball team. Once asked if there was one sport he preferred to play over another, he responded: “I love them all!”
Hafen had the privilege of serving in the United States Armed Services, which included a tour of duty in Vietnam. Upon returning to Utah he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education at Weber State, and then joined forces with Clark County, Nevada’s juvenile justice system working directly with youth as a probation officer, and later serving the court as a staff administrator. After 31 years with the court, Richard retired in 1999. He and his wife Marti divide their time between their residence in the Summerlin area of Las Vegas and restoring Richard’s boyhood home in St. George.