ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Valentine transitions from playing to coaching


Claire Baker, BHS Journalism

BHS class 2013 graduate Dayton Valentine is a former football player for K-State. Valentine is now coaching at Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park. He played football during high school and then ended up going Division 1.

“I played tight end for K-State. I was on the football team starting in the summer of 2013 and played there until December of 2017,” Valentine said.

Valentine talks about how Baldwin prepared him for his time at K-State.

“Growing up in Baldwin instilled many values that helped prepare me for K-State, ” Valentine said. “The town and the school helped instill a passion for the game as well as what hard work looks like. I had many supporters and people in my corner who supported me to help achieve a childhood dream of playing Division 1 football.”

Important ingrained memories Valentine had in Baldwin are what formed him to achieve all that he has today.

“Some of my best memories are from Baldwin, ” Valentine said. “Many of them are sports related. There are memories from a special 10-2 sophomore season, beating a good Louisburg team on a 2-point conversion, to winning state titles in track. The memories that I cherish the most though are about the relationships I had and the people who I was fortunate enough to know from my time in Baldwin. The opportunity to play sports in high school with your childhood friends and the support you receive from people in your community is really something special.”

The coaches that Valentine had during Baldwin impacted him greatly.

“Coach Mike Berg was not only a great coach but also a role model for me,” Valentine said. “All of the track coaches including Coach Kehl, Perbeck, Speilman, or Zuzzio were all influential in my development as not only an athlete, but as a person. There are also many others all the way from youth sports and high school who had a great impact on my life.”

Not only coaches, but staff members at Baldwin influenced Valentine.

“It is tough to narrow down a list of my favorite staff members from my time in high school,” Valentine said. “Mr. Perbeck was an awesome addition to the administration for my last couple of years there. Mrs. McDaniels always put a smile on my face as a secretary. I appreciated how Coach Berg, Coach Speilman, Coach Martin and Coach Harris carried themselves as teachers and coaches. Even though I didn’t necessarily love their subjects I admired Mrs. B-H in English and Ms. Martin in Spanish. There are also many, and I am probably leaving out a few, but the teachers I had helped inspire me to follow in their shoes as a teacher and a coach.”

Valentine played many different positions during his time at high school.

“During my time at high school, I played some offensive tackle, tight end, and defensive end,” Valentine said. “I  also played basketball for three years where I was a post. In track I was a thrower who did shot put and discus. I played tight end for K-State.”

The experiences at K-State helped Valentine become a better coach today.

“Playing football at Kansas State was a great experience,” Valentine said. “It has helped me be a better coach because I was lucky enough to play for some high level coaches at Kansas State. I was able to see how they approached the game and were able to communicate with the athletes. It had a tremendous impact on my knowledge of football as well. I learned a variety of football specific skills from how to watch film effectively, to identifying defenses. It has also helped me to have experienced what it is like to play sports at a high level. I was able to experience what weight training and conditioning looked like at a Division 1 level. It was also beneficial to understand the mindset that one has to have when playing a sport. I learned other valuable lessons like time management as well.”

Valentine has many fond memories about his time during K-State.

“Many of my favorite memories that I have from K-State involve the friendships and relationships I built during my time there,” Valentine said. “Many of my best friends are ones that I made during my time in college. When it comes to football memories there are quite a few. Whether it was traveling to Stanford and getting juked by Christian McCaffrey on a punt or blocking Myles Garret and winning the Texas Bowl in front of 70,000+ fans. It was always cool to see 100,000 fans when playing at Texas. The bowl trips that we went on every year were always some of the best trips.”

As much as coaches from Baldwin shaped him into who he is today, Valentine also had one special coach from K-State that helped him.

“There are multiple coaches who had an impact on me during my time at K-State,” Valentine said. “The most influential would be my position coach and offensive coordinator Dana Dimel. You spend a lot of time with your position coach, and I learned so much from him during meetings.”

To wrap it up, Valentine explains some of his reasons why he chose to coach.

“The main reason I wanted to be a coach is because of all the people in my life, I have looked up to my coaches the most,” Valentine said. “If I can create that same positive change that my coaches were able to do for me as just one student athlete, coaching is worth it.