About this series
Coming up with a short list and then ranking the 10 greatest athletes in the history of each YAIAA high school was a daunting task. For sure, there is no scientific approach. But after two years of interviews, research and roundtable discussions, we are presenting as fair an attempt as possible to create an objective list on a decidedly subjective topic.
OUR CRITERIA: 1. The only accomplishments considered were those achieved while competing in high school varsity athletics. If an athlete earned a college scholarship, that was also factored in. 2. Accomplishments outside the setting of high school varsity sports and accomplishments after high school were not taken into account. 3. Athletes who attended more than one local high school were only evaluated at the school where they had the most varsity success. 4. Female athletes were rated by how they dominated their own sports not how they would fare going head-to-head against male athletes.

Your turn
If you d like to comment or offer a differing opinion on this list, we d love to hear from you. Each Sunday, we ll present your feedback on opinions on page 2 of the York Sunday News sports section - The Rundown. E-mail your thoughts to Sports Editor Chris Otto at cotto@ydr.com or mail them to: Greatest Athletes, c/o Chris Otto, 1891 Loucks Road, York 17408.

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The javelin thrower from Biglerville High is still running athletic departments after all these years.

And to think there was a time, maybe the most difficult of his life, when it looked as if Dick Dull would never go back to college sports again.

It was much more than a bad week or month or even a year.

Dull, who went on to star in track and field at the University of Maryland, was the athletic director there in the early- and mid-1980s when the school reached new heights on the basketball court and football field.

But things suddenly crashed around him in June 1986, after the fatal cocaine-induced heart attack of basketball player Len Bias, who had just become the second pick in the NBA draft by the Boston Celtics.

Soon enough, the sports world also learned that Bias had flunked classes in his final semester and dropped others.

As national media intensity and pressure overwhelmed, university officials decided the way to push forward was to ask for Dull's resignation and then force out coach Lefty Driesell.

For the next 10 years, Dull did what he could to get by -- real estate, consulting work, living on his savings.

He didn't even file income tax reports for two of those years because he earned less than $7,500.

"The stain of being at Maryland..." he said. "I could not get a job interview (in athletics) for 10 years."

All of the emotions, the anger and depression, "I survived it. No one can ever bring Len Bias back, and that I regret. He was a wonderful young man."

But, "that experience taught me to look to the future without anxiety. Nothing's likely to be as bad as what we went through after his death. I go forward knowing I can handle what is sent my way."

* * *

Though Dull was a decent basketball player at Biglerville, he was truly special at the javelin.

He won a state title as a sophomore and suffered severe elbow ligament damage the next year but recovered to finish second in the state as a senior. He's still the school record-holder (198 feet,
6 inches) more than 40 years later.

His greatest triumphs, though, came at the University of Maryland.

He won an Atlantic Coast Conference javelin title and finished in the top 10 in the NCAA championships as a senior.

He earned his law degree and later took a huge pay cut -- $22,000 to $8,500 -- to get back into athletics as an assistant ticket manager at Maryland.

He worked his way up to athletic director in 1981.

His football and men's basketball teams won ACC titles, and his women's basketball team made it to the Final Four.

Then came Bias' death.

And those 10 long, lost years.

Finally, he landed the AD job at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, a Division II school. And life, in a way, started over.

He eventually earned another Division I job at Cal-State Northridge in Los Angeles, serving as athletic director for seven years.

Even after retiring and moving back east to be close to his son, the pull was too difficult to resist.

It's been more than a year since Belmont-Abbey College, a small Catholic school just south of Charlotte, N.C., lured him out of retirement to lead its athletic department.

He's content knowing that he's still able to work his dream, all of these years later.

"I don't need to be the AD at Penn State or Maryland but just some place where I can make a contribution," said Dull, who is in his early 60s. "I've got some gray in my hair, but I think I'm still young inside."
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