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Long time coach, educator dies

Former Mountainburg coach Bob Denniston died Friday.

He was 88.

An Alma native, Denniston played basketball there under Clair Bates. After high school, he served in both the U.S. Army and Navy before attending the College of the Ozarks, where he lettered in baseball.

After college, Denniston taught and coached for 50 years, including stops in Prairie Grove, Mulberry, Harrison, Morrilton and finally Mountainburg. He coached Mulberry to a boys basketball state championship in 1960. At Mountainburg, he coached both senior high and both junior high basketball teams, was an assistant football coach and head baseball coach for two seasons.

He retired in 2001. Just days before his retirement party, he was involved in a school bus accident. A tractor-trailer ran a stop sign at an off-ramp from Interstate 540 and slammed into Denniston’s bus. Three students were killed.

In 2004, he was inducted into the Arkansas High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

When the Crawford County Tournament was revived in 2012, one of the boys’ divisions was named in his honor.

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