John W. Coleman received much of his formal education in his hometown of Conway, Arkansas, where he was born on March 29 1931.
He graduated from Conway High School in 1949, then went on to receive his B.A. from Hendrix College in Conway in 1953. After two years serving in the Navy, John received his M.Ed. from the University of Arkansas in 1958.
After a varied and successful stint as an educator in Arkansas and in Fort Defiance, Arizona, including an assistant principal position, John began his tenure with TUSD in 1966 at Rincon High School as a teacher of Social Studies and a coach. In 1968, he helped to open Sahuaro High School as an original member of the Social Studies Department and as Sahuaro’s first track coach. In 1972, John took on the responsibilities of the position of Athletic Director at Sahuaro while continuing to teach. Then, in 1979, John became Sahuaro’s Dean of Boys. After leaving Sahuaro to accept an assistant principalship at Tucson High School in 1981, John subsequently also held that position at Sabino High School in 1984-85 and at Pueblo High School from 1986 until 1992, when he retired from the District.
Throughout his career as an educator and coach, John was innovative and respected throughout the community. He held many chairmanships and various other offices of responsibility involving athletic organizations, conferences, and committees, including such positions as representative to the Executive Board of the Arizona Track Coaches’ Association for the Southern Division in 1968-69; President of the Arizona Track Coaches’ Association in 1971-72; Secretary of Southern Division of AAA Conference of A.I.A. from 1973 through 1980; Chairperson of the Southern Division Scheduling Committee for 1979-80 and 1982-83; Chairperson and co-founder of the TUSD 3R Run; Chairperson for the TUSD Deans of Students in 1980-81 ; member of the AAA Conference Executive Board for 1982-83 and 1984-85; and member of the A.I .A. Legislative Council for 1982-83 and 1984-85. No one knew more about successful coaching and sportsmanship, and discovering the potential in students. John’s season summaries for cross country and track are legendary pieces of work. Yet he is proudest of doing something for people, helping not hurting. His students “remember him as a teacher and coach who “got the most out of you” and “always acknowledged your existence with something positive to say”.