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Dwight Dean Collins

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Dwight Dean Collins

Dwight was widely considered one of the best all-around athletes in Beaver County history; Dwight Collins scholastic career at Beaver Falls, which spanned from 1976 to 1980, can only be described as brilliant. Those who watched him compete early in his career quickly realized they were watching an exceptional and dominant competitor.

Early in his freshman basketball season in a game against 5th Avenue, Dwight held the state’s best player, Sam Clancy, to a total of four points. A preview of things to come.

A rare 4-year letterman at Beaver Falls, Dwight averaged 14.7, 17.0, 22.0, 22.1 points per season in four years. At 6’2″ and playing under the bucket, he was always matched against taller players. His strength and leaping ability off-set any height advantage an opponent may have had. Dwight won the prestigious roundball award given to the best Tiger player in 1979-1980.

Three-time first team all-section 1977-78, 1978-79 and 1979-80, Two-time conference MVP 1977-78 and 1977-80, All WPIAL 1979-80., All state 1978-1979 and 1979-1980. Led his team to consecutive section and WPIAL championship 1978-79 and 1979 -80. Was chosen WPIAL player of the year 1979-80. Chosen for Pennsylvania team in The Dapper Dan Roundball Class.

Against the USA team, Collins played guard, a position he never played before. He responded by scoring eleven first-half points, including six in a row to spark a second quarter rally. An MVP candidate at halftime, Dwight didn’t play again until two minutes left in the fourth quarter. He finished with thirteen points and proved he could play with anyone.

In only two years of track and field, Dwight was one of Beaver Falls and Beaver Counties most prolific runners. He won the Beaver County meet and WPIAL Gold in the 100 meters and 200 meters his junior year. He repeated the feat his senior year and went on to win the state championship in the 200 meters. In the process, he set the Beaver County record in the 100 meters, which has since been broken. He also set the Beaver County record in the 200 meters with a time of 21.3, which still stands today, an amazing forty- one years later.

Dwight played one year of baseball and American legion ball. Pro scouts loved the power hitting first baseman that could out run anyone on the field. He was picked for All-Stars in American legion, and many beaver falls fans think baseball was Dwight’s best sport.

Football, however, was his most decorated sport. Dwight was the first four-year letterman (along with teammate Jerry Moye) at Beaver Falls in football in the modern era. One of the most sought-after football players in the country, Dwight was considered the most gifted High School Athlete in Western Pennsylvania. He received the most fanfare of any WPIAL player since Tony Dorsett and was all-section first team 1977-78.

All WPIAL 1979, All-State UPI First team 1979, As a junior, rushed for over 1,000 yards and scored 26 touchdowns, 20 rushing, 6 touchdown receptions, and was named the AP Pennsylvania player of the year

As a senior, after losing his longtime coach and mentor Larry Bruno to retirement, and missing three games due to an ankle injury, Dwight still rushed for 943 yards and twelve touchdowns. He was named to the Prep All-American Team, the Adidas All-American Team, and the Parade All-American Team. Dwight was also named to the Big 33 Classic, one of the most prestigious All-Star games in the country. He signed with The University of Pittsburgh to play football as a receiver and quickly made his presence known as he broke the freshman reception record with thirty catches.

Dwight finished his career at Pitt with 133 receptions, 2,264 yards and 24 touchdowns. He was the favorite target of future Hall of Famer, Dan Marino. Dwight was selected in the 1984 draft as the 154th player taken by the Minnesota Vikings where he played one year. He is one of only five former Beaver Falls players to play receiver in the NFL. Paul McKee-1941, Jim Mutcheller-1948, Joe Walden-1953, Glenn Dennison- 1979 are the others.

Dwight was assistant basketball coach at Beaver Falls from 1987-1995 and again in 2017 to present. He was assistant football coach from 1990-1995 and then again starting in 2014-present. Dwight was also the assistant track coach from 2014 – 2018. He was on the staff for the 1994 WPIAL and state title team in hoops, the 2016 football team that won WPIAL gold, and the first state championship in football. Dwight won 11 letters at Beaver Falls. He was called by Coach Bruno “the most disciplined and gifted player” he ever coached. His achievements are the things that legends are made of. That’s exactly what Dwight Collins is. Dwight is still compassionate toward coaching and guiding the youth of Beaver Falls toward reaching their goals and aspiration. A LEGEND.

Larry Bruno Foundation

Hall of Achievement & Museum

1112 7th Avenue
Beaver Falls, PA 15010

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