A member of Deptford Township School District’s transportation department was recognized for her prestigious athletic career on Oct. 25.
Dawn Mader was inducted as one of the 13 new members of the Camden County Hall of Fame. Mader, a 1984 graduate of Triton Regional High School, excelled as a three-sport athlete, played softball at Trenton State College, and has had a long coaching career that continues today as the head softball coach at Paul VI High School.
“To be inducted with the caliber of athletes that have gone in before me and are going in with me … it means everything,” Mader said. “I’m very humbled and honored, especially to be going in with my sister.”
Her older sister, Sandy, who flew in from Texas for the ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, was also one of the inductees. According to Dawn, she and her sister were the first sisters to be named All-South Jersey in the same year, when Dawn was a sophomore and Sandy was a senior in 1982.
Softball is and was always Dawn’s top sport. She was a four-year varsity player at Triton and a captain in 1983 and 1984. She was both first team All-Conference and first team All-Group in 1982, 1983, and 1984 and was named to the Gloucester County Times All South Jersey Team in 1982, 1983, and 1984.
Dawn continued to play in the Women’s Fastpitch League of South Jersey and the Delaware Valley Women’s Fastpitch League after college, earning MVP honors twice.
In 2004, Dawn started an Amateur Softball Association team, the South Jersey Gators. She coached softball at Paul VI first from 1999 to 2002, then took a break for her kids, and returned to the school in 2013; she has a 135-82-2 record as the Eagles softball coach.
In addition to softball, Dawn also coached in the Bellmawr Street Hockey Association. She coached her sons Boomer and Zach in hockey and, along with her father, coached an All-Star hockey team to a national championship. She also coached her sons in Bellmawr Baseball.
“The biggest part of coaching is seeing how much you can give back to the kids and see how much they grow as athletes and people,” said Mader, who has also worked as a hitting instructor for the last 18 years.
Mader celebrated with her kids, her sister, and the rest of her family on Oct. 25.
“Being able to celebrate it with them means everything,” said Mader, who has worked in Deptford Township’s school district for the last four years.