Dolphin, a member of the Grand County High School Class of
1988, says he enjoys teaching at his alma mater, even though
he had no idea he’d end up doing so. Dolphin has taught
social studies and history at GCHS since 1994 and has also
served as the school’s athletic director for the past
Being the AD involves a great deal of administrative work,
including schedules, arranging for buses and logistical support
for various athletic teams, plus school activities such as
music, debate, and drama.
“The best part about my job is getting to touch the
future,” he says, referring to the opportunities he
has to work with students and help them achieve their goals.
During the summertime, when he’s not busy coaching
little league baseball, Ron can also be seen atop a riding
mower, helping maintain the playing fields and lawns surrounding
He also coached football and wrestling for eight years in
each sport while at GCHS, and two years as an assistant softball
coach. Next spring, he’ll get back into coaching again
as an assistant to new head baseball coach Jared Meador,
a fellow member of the Class of 1988.
Dolphin, also known as “Raging Ron,” was involved
in a variety of activities in high school. He played football
all four years as a fullback and linebacker, and was named
to the first team all-state his senior year, and second team
all-state his junior year. “My junior year we beat
San Juan down at Blanding, which was the last time we beat
them on their home field in football,” Ron said.
also played baseball all four years in high school,
primarily as a right fielder and a pitcher. He wrestled
for three years at the 167 lb. weight class. He also
played one year of basketball (as a freshman) and one
year of golf (as a senior). He also was in the National
Honor Society and was elected vice president of his
Shortly after high school graduation, Ron attended Snow College
in Ephraim for two years, obtaining his associates degree
in the spring of 1990. He played football for the Badgers
for one year, then broke his back during practice his second
year. His playing career over, he nevertheless got a call
from one of the coaches a few days later inviting him to
remain with the team as an assistant coach. “That’s
when I decided I wanted to be a coach, and that’s when
they told me I had to be a teacher in order to become a coach,” Ron
His then-girlfriend and soon-to-be wife Melonie Mayhew graduated
from GCHS in 1990, and the two were married in June of that
year. Melonie, a native of Colorado, had moved with her family
to Moab when she was starting high school.
Shortly after getting married, the newlyweds then moved to
Cedar City, where Ron attended Southern Utah University,
majoring in physical education and minoring in U.S. history.
He also earned endorsements in economics, political science,
and criminal justice. After graduating from SUU, he taught
at a K-12 school in tiny Gabbs, Nev. (pop. 300) for one year,
1993-94. In 1994, the school had to cut Ron and seven other
teachers from the staff due to RIF (reduction in force) cuts,
and Ron started to make plans to move to Pahrump, Nev., which
was still in the same school district despite being over
300 miles away from Gabbs.
“It was then that Doug Thompson called me and said, ‘Hey,
there’s a position for you here in Moab,” Ron
recalled. In the fall of 1994, he took a job teaching world
history and geography at GCHS, plus two periods of mathematics.
“I’ve been here ever since,” he said.
Ron and Melonie Dolphin are the parents of three children.
Oldest daughter Laci is a sophomore at GCHS, where she participates
in cross-country, softball, and other activities. Daughter
Jordan is a 7th-grader at Grand County Middle School, and
son Ronnie is a 5th-grader at Helen M. Knight Intermediate
Ron is the son of Cherrie Dolphin and the late Ronald Dolphin
Sr. Cherie is originally from Ephraim, raised in Hanksville
and Panguitch, and graduated from high school in East Carbon.
Cherrie had just graduated from BYU in elementary education
when she was hired to teach school in Moab. There, she met
her husband Ron, an Ouray, Colorado native who was working
at Moab’s City Market at the time. After their wedding,
the Dolphins lived in Spanish Fork, then Phoenix, then Monticello,
where oldest son Ron was born. When Ron Jr. was just a few
months old, the family moved from Monticello to Moab, where
they stayed for good.
Ron is the oldest of four children, all of whom graduated
from GCHS. Brother Robert (Class of 1989) was just one year
behind Ron in school, and was also involved in various sports
and activities. He currently lives in Salt Lake. Sister Valarie
(Class of 1993) and her family live in Moab. Youngest sibling
Vanessa (Class of 2003), a talented artist who won the Sterling
Scholar award in that category, was married earlier this
summer and currently works at a department store in Salt
Ron fondly remembers many of his high school teachers, including
Bill Moore, a former coach with whom he keeps in close touch
with as a mentor and friend; coaches Curtis Page and Steve
Bullard, remembered for their crazy antics on the field and
in the locker room; Joyce Victor, for pranks played both
ways; George Ottinger, for his B.S. math problems; and social
studies teachers Don Hillman, Donna Brownell, and Mr. Wiley,
all of whom Ron remembers for their “attention to detail”.
“I also appreciated Lin Kolb and Ray Olsen for letting
me sleep in class, but they never gave up on me,” added
Ron, noting that a fair number of his classmates ended up
dropping out of school around that time, when the controversial
OBE (Outcome Based Education) was in its heyday. “What
the hell was that?” laughs Ron, shaking his head.
Ron also fondly recalls Pat and Glen Richeson “the
Awesome Duo”, and Coach “Mean Gene” Leonard,
who once cut Ron’s hair with tape cutters before a
wrestling match. Gene and his wife Martha continue to attend
GHCS sporting events regularly.
Ron enjoys watching and playing sports of all kinds. He currently
is bowling in a weekly league with three fellow teachers. “Our
name is D.G.U.T.S., which stands for ‘Don’t give
up the ship,’” he says, noting that the phrase
is somewhat ironic because in its historical context, the
American sailors (under the command of James Lawrence in
the War of 1812) actually had to surrender their damaged
ship to the British.
Whether chaperoning a dance, announcing the lineups before
a game, dealing with an injured player, or trying to find
soccer referees for a match, Ron is continually involved
in GCHS activities. A true Red Devil through and through,
Ron enjoys showing his school spirit any way he can, teaching
students by example and conveying his own dedication for
the high school and its many extracurricular events.