You can call him Dusty Dan or Deepcourt Dan. Either way, you are talking about a Butte legend in Dan Sullivan.
A 1958 Butte Central graduate, Sullivan starred for the Maroons before moving to Missoula play hoops and baseball for the Grizzlies. There, Sullivan roomed with Butte High legend Bob O’Billovich.
After college and a stint in the Army, Sullivan ended up teaching for decades at Butte High School, where his law class filled up like a Springsteen concert.
Listen in as Sullivan talks about playing against and then with O’Billovich. Listen to how he described his old friend’s work ethic as he introduced him into the Montana Football Hall of Fame.
Listen as he talks about his teaching days and about the time he beat the legendary Bill Peoples in a handball match. He was the only player to knock off Peoples in a span of 10 years.
Closing in on his 83rd birthday, Sullivan met me inside the vault at the Metals Sports Bar and Grill for this fun conversation.
Thanks for that interview. I played for Butte High the first year Big Dan Sullivan coached with Fergie. I wouldn’t even know how to approach those stories on a public site. But immense respect. Ogrin, Pomeroy, Bersanti, Orlich and I lost a few Pork Chops to Big Dan and his running hook shot. Not quite a sky hook but he could reliably make it from half court ( deep court) in the Butte High Gym. To see Dan in his prime was the stuff we all think of as legendary Butte. He could command a room, run a monologue and then stop the room with a song. Amazing memory and Timing. Long before the Mother Lode and Mark Staples we had Dusty Dan at the Deluxe or BCC. His summers at the BCC with Evel, Muzzy, Lyons, and Frazer and all the Amen Corner gang was not to be missed. I’m pretty sure Dan, Muzzy, Burby, Schulte, and Whiskey Jack could have filled a couple Coen Brothers movies in a typical Labor Day weekend at the BCC. In all the places I have lived I have never seen anything close to the magic of those days in Butte. Big Dan was also the main character. Brilliant, Athletic, Reverent Humor, slap stick Imitations, that always had my head on my elbows in uncontrollable laughter. But, he was always interested in how all his “kids” were doing, and had an amazing ability to remember things about your life. Such a treat to hear him talk again. So glad I got to have him in my high school life. Amazing interview at 82. Can’t imagine what you would have got at 62. You would have just said Hello. He would have handled the rest. You did a great job. Congrats.