Dean Overbey

Dean Overbey

Lifetime Achievement
Nenana High School

On the Alaska School Activities Association’s map of regional divisions, Region II covers the central and northeastern portion of the state for all the smaller schools along the road system.

While Dean Overbey took primary residence in Nenana, his work greatly benefitted everyone in Alaska.

Overbey served as Region II’s president for 12 years and served as its ASAA board representative from 2002-2013. He was Nenana High’s athletic director from 1983-2013.

In 1984, Overbey helped start the Nenana Invitational Basketball Tournament – the NIT – which has become the largest small-schools tournament in Interior Alaska.

“As a high school player and later as a coach, I have personally been part of the NIT and witnessed the impact (it) has on communities throughout Alaska,” said Jimmy Sickler, Susitna Valley coach and current Region II board representative. “In Alaskan context, that tournament evokes all the positive images of life (in rural Alaska).”

While representing Region II, Overbey was instrumental is expanding the Class 1A March Madness Alaska state tournament for schools with a student enrollment of 1-50 students. The changes allowed those schools a more equitable chance to compete for a state title along with their larger counterparts.

“It was never enough for Dean to simply provide an opportunity to youth,” said retired Nenana superintendent Eric Gebhart. “In his actions and results, he communicated to students their worth and they could strive to be better.”