Dave Sitton was born in Los Angeles, California to Margie and Herschel Sitton in 1955. He was one of two children, growing up with his sister Margie. With parents who were restaurant owners, Sitton began working at the age of nine as a dishwasher in the family restaurant. He attended Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, CA and while he excelled in all sports, his true passion was baseball.
Sitton attended the University of Arizona intending to play baseball, but experienced numerous shoulder injuries that changed his game. It was at that time that he discovered the sport of rugby. During his senior year, he put in time playing the dual role of rugby coach and player.
After his retirement as a player, Sitton transitioned to coaching rugby at the University of Arizona. The Wildcat program became a model for other collegiate programs to follow. Over the course of his 35-year coaching tenure, he mentored and developed over 1,600 players. He considered this his true lifetime professional achievement. He led the Wildcats to the quarterfinals of the USA Sevens CRCs and in 2012, they competed in the championship match.
In addition to his duties at Arizona, Sitton also served as the General Manager and Assistant Coach for the U.S. National Collegiate All Americans. He also served on the USA Rugby Board of Directors.
Announcing UA football, basketball, and baseball games from 1990-2012, Sitton won two Emmy awards for his work that included appearances on ESPN, ABC, and NBC. His sports broadcast career spanned three decades and during that time he became the worldwide voice of rugby in the U.S. Sitton was named “Man of the Year” by both the Tucson Ad Federation (1994) and the Tucson Chamber of Commerce (1996). In 2006, he received the American Ad Federation Silver Medal Award for Lifetime Achievement.
He believed that the mentoring of young men was crucial to the future of our nation and worked to educate them on the value of competition, living by the golden rule, and the fundamental truths that make fine young men. His radio show, The Daily Male, was targeted specifically for young men between the ages of 18-24 and focused on issues and values that pertained to character building. Sitton received numerous awards for his service to young men including the Lute Olson “Scouts Honor Award” from the Boy Scouts of America, the “Bear Down Award” from the University of Arizona Alumni Association, the “Honorary Bobcat” from the University of Arizona, and the Tucson Father’s Day Council “Father of the Year 2006”.
Sitton considered his toughest battle in life was to beat lymphoma cancer. However, as a cancer survivor, he knew he had a great opportunity to help others in their fight against the disease. He worked for the Arizona Cancer Center, developing their marketing department. Sitton also served on the board of Tee Up for Tots and Steele Memorial Children’s Research Center, two organizations dedicated to fighting pediatric cancer. His radio show, Cancer Fighters, was dedicated to helping educate and inform the audience about the current advances in the fight against cancer.
Another of Sitton’s radio shows, American Warrior, was dedicated to active duty and retired military personnel, highlighting the bravery and dedication of all who serve our Nation. He served as an Honorary Commander for the USAF 55th Rescue Squadron of Davis Monthan Air Force Base. He also served on the Board of Directors for Davis Monthan Air Force Base “50”. He received the U.S. Marine Corps “Outstanding Citizen Citation” in 2009. A true renaissance man, he was also Chairman of the Board for the Tucson Pops Orchestra.
Dave passed away from a pulmonary embolism in 2013, leaving behind many who loved and admired him, especially his two daughters, Olivia and Elizabeth, and his sister, Margie.