Former MC and Tech basketball player enjoys successful geology career, focuses on raising family and improving quality of life in the Tall CityFebruary 22, 2024

The image to use for this article. Listing image managed through RSS tab. Wally Dunn sitting at his desk in his office at CrownQuest.

When CrownQuest Geoscience manager Wally Dunn looks back on his collegiate basketball career, which includes playing for both the Midland College (MC) Chaparrals and the Texas Tech Red Raiders, one moment stands out in his memory above the rest. It was the NJCAA Men's National Basketball Championships in 2007, and the Midland College Chaparrals were up against nationally ranked Chipola Junior College out of Florida. After holding a slim lead going into the final six minutes of the game, the Chaps capitalized on a three-point basket to win 94-75 clinching the championship title.

“I watched it all from the bench,” Dunn said.  “That was my first year at MC, and I was redshirted, but it’s a moment I will never forget.  In fact, the entire two years I attended Midland College was an incredible experience, mainly because of the basketball coach Grant McCasland. He had a great way of getting the best out of us.  He taught me to give my best effort regardless of how I may be feeling or other circumstances going on in my life.  Even today, I apply those principles to just about everything I do in life.”  

Dunn fondly remembers other aspects about playing basketball for Midland College, including the pre-game meals at Subway and traveling to games in a small bus with his fellow 6-foot+ teammates.  

“We would cram all of our stuff and ourselves into that little bus, and Coach McCasland was the driver,” Dunn recalled.  “Pre-game meals were Subway sandwiches, and then sometimes we would splurge after the games at Golden Corral.  It was definitely different when I got to Texas Tech, and we had chartered busses and planes!  The pre- and post-game meals were quite a bit more elaborate, also.”

Dunn always had his vision set on Texas Tech, since both of his parents were Red Raiders, but it didn't hurt that it was also where his wife Micah attended school.  Dunn met Micah at T Bar M Christian Retreat in the Texas Hill Country when he was a senior at Midland Classical and she was a freshman at Texas Tech.  Three years later when Dunn proposed marriage, it was also at T Bar M.  The couple married while they were still in college, and today they have four children—three boys, ages 9, 8 and 4, and a girl age 6.  Micah, originally from Farwell, TX, has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and a master’s degree in exercise sports science from Texas Tech.  She is a registered dietician and leads an exercise boot camp.  

Sports, fitness and faith are a big part of life for the family.  

Wally Dunn is the youngest of six siblings and was born and raised in Midland.  He began playing basketball through the Midland Boys and Girls Club when he was 5 years old.  He said he dreamed of playing Division I basketball since the fifth grade.  Before playing basketball at Midland College and then realizing his Division 1 dream at Texas Tech, he shone brightly at Midland Classical Academy, leading the Knights to four district championships, earning the All-District MVP award for three years and grabbing First Team All-State honors in his junior and senior years in 2005 and 2006.

He still has strong ties to Midland Classical Academy (MCA) where for the past six years Dunn, alongside his teammate from Texas Tech Robert Lewandowski, has served on the coaching team for junior varsity and varsity basketball.  

“Because of Grant McCasland’s leadership and mentorship when I was at Midland College, I am now coaching at MCA, a direct result of the profound influence he had on me.” Dunn explained.  “His impact transcended the realm of coaching.  It extended to shaping me as an individual.”

While basketball may have been Dunn’s first passion, a talent for music has expanded his interests.  He serves as worship minister at Midland Bible Church.  He plays the guitar and piano and also sings.  

“I first learned to play the violin, but I switched to guitar in junior high to impress girls,” Dunn said laughingly.  

At one point, he said he considered a career in music.  However, the opportunity to play basketball led him to earn an associate degree from Midland College in 2008 and a bachelor’s degree in geology from Texas Tech in 2011.  He now has joined his two older brothers and father as part of the Crownquest management team.  His father Tim Dunn is CEO; brother Luke is vice president of operations; and brother Lee serves as chief financial officer.  Wally leads geology and software development.

“My two brothers-in-law are also at Crownquest,” Dunn explained.  “They work in the mineral business.  The only member of the family who doesn’t live in Midland is my brother David who is a contemporary Christian music artist.”

The Dunn family has purchased, renovated and expanded Green Acres Miniature Golf Course, and they are instrumental in creating the new Zoo Midland.  

“I have fond memories of spending my childhood and youth at Green Acres,” Dunn said.  “Midland is one of the greatest cities in America to live and raise a family, but ironically it has very few entertainment activities for families to enjoy together.  Micah and I have four children, and then there are another 16 children among my siblings.  We just thought why not create some places where families can have fun without traveling 300 miles.”

The family’s strong faith and commitment to raising their families in a Christian environment is immediately apparent when speaking with Wally Dunn who said that it is important to be “a father who is present in his children’s lives.”  

In addition to his busy career and starting new ventures to improve quality of life in Midland, Dunn also serves as a member of the board of directors of Harvesters Ministries, a non-denominational nonprofit organization that trains pastors and plants churches worldwide.  

“Our goal is to create one million new churches worldwide by 2030,” he said.  “We are currently in 67 countries and have started churches in 53 different languages.  Establishing Christian communities throughout the world is something that is very important to me.

“One of my favorite scriptures is Matthew 25:21 where Jesus is teaching the parables of the talents:  ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’   I strive to live my life in order to be faithful with goodness, grace, talents, resources, time—everything that the Lord has entrusted to me. 

“Another scripture that hits close to home because of the sports analogy is 1st Corinthians 9:24:  ‘Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize,’ meaning it takes effort and dedication to win a race, as it does to living the life Christ intended.”

Whether it is playing on the basketball court, volunteering his musical talents at his church, helping to lead Crownquest, raising his family, creating new family-centered opportunities in Midland or volunteering to expand the Christian faith worldwide, Dunn said he applies those foundational principles of giving his best effort that he learned from Coach Grant McCasland when he was playing for the Midland College Chaparrals. 

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