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Eastman succeeds Lessner as Dukes coach

Tough act to follow

Published: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 11:48 p.m. CDT
(Alex T. Paschal/
Lee Eastman is the new golf coach at Dixon High School. He succeeds Pat Lessner, who coached the team since 1979.

Lee Eastman has shown he knows how to lose. Now he wants to show a group of Dixon athletes how to win.

Eastman, 47, lost 62 pounds this past winter to win a weight-loss contest. He hopes to instill that kind of discipline and want-to as the new head golf coach at Dixon High School.

He was formally hired at the May 14 Dixon School Board meeting. Eastman succeeds Pat Lessner, who had guided the Dukes since 1979 before resigning after this past season.

Eastman, a business teacher at DHS the past 3 years, described golf as the “perfect sport.”

“There are other sports that I like, but there are many of those I can’t play anymore,” Eastman said. “Golf, I can play for the rest of my life, and I think the sport teaches you life lessons. That’s what attracted me to the sport, and I think it will be the perfect coaching position.”

Eastman met with prospective team members last week. His main message was to get out and play as much golf as possible this summer, and gave the players a list of youth tournaments in which they could play.

“I told them they’re not going to get any better unless they get out there and golf and compete,” Eastman said.

There are two main areas Eastman would like to see improvement in. First, he would like to have more girls on the team. As of now, there is only one – Olivia Pultorak. He’s hoping she can enlist some of her female friends to give the sport a try.

“For Olivia to do well, I think she needs other girls to feed off of,” Eastman said. “Back in the 1980s, we had a really good girls team. It’s just kind of slacked off over the years, and I don’t know why.”

A second area of improvement will be the use of video technology, something he has used as a junior high track coach. He uses a phone application to video athletes, to give them instant feedback on areas they can improve one.

“The new technology is out there, and it’s ever-changing,” Eastman said. “I’ll always be involved with technology, and I think it fits well with golf.”

Eastman file

High school: Dixon, class of 1985

College: Northern Illinois, class of 1992

FYI: Business teacher at Dixon High School the past 3 years. ... Hired as golf coach at May 14 school board meeting. ... Also coached wrestling, track and basketball at junior high level.

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