Dennis Cavalier

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2007 Sherwood Award Winner


Pampa was known primarily as a basketball school before Cavalier took over in 1987. The most successful football coach in Pampa history, Cavalier’s Harvester teams were known for their solid defense and ball-control offense. Former Texas Tech all-American and current Miami Dolphin Zach Thomas played for Cavalier’s Harvesters in 1990 and 1991.

Cavalier is survived by his wife, Kathy, sons Andy and Tony, and daughters Katy and Abby. Andy Cavalier is a member of the Pampa football staff, and Tony is an assistant at Tascosa. Abby Cavalier is a senior at Pampa High School and will graduate Friday.

Cavalier coached the Harvesters for 16 seasons and guided the program from relative obscurity into one of West Texas’ big-school powerhouses. Prior to Cavalier’s arrival, Pampa had been to the playoffs nine times in school history.

In 16 years, the Harvesters went nine times, including three trips to the regional round, once to the quarterfinals, and to the semifinals in 1996. In 1999, he was named the coach of the decade by the Globe-News.

Cavalier compiled a 107-68-2 record at Pampa. He won his 100th game as a Harvester and his 200th game overall last season. Cavalier coached a total of 26 seasons, including stops at Goddard, Kan., Wichita (Kan.) Southeast and Chickasha, Okla. Cavalier had a 201-116-2 mark.

Cavalier joined the Harvester program in 1987. Led by Thomas, Pampa made the playoffs in 1990 and 1991, the first postseason appearances for the Harvesters since 1971. The Harvesters’ victory in the 1991 bi-district round was Pampa’s first since 1933.

(via Amarillo Globe News – Link)