Hinsdale Central Foundation, Partnership in Lifelong Learning

Donald Watson

Membership level: Hall of Fame

Donald Watson

Inductee Year 2003
Donald Watson
A teacher and coach at Hinsdale Central High School from 1965 - 1978, Coach Watson is acclaimed as one of America’s most successful developers of swimming talent. At Central, he coached 12 Illinois consecutive state championship teams, developed 167 High School All Americans and 4 Olympic swimmers. He is recognized as one of the top 5 all time swimming coaches in America’s Greatest Coaches. In 1970, he was selected as the Swimming Coach of the Year and, in 1977, as the National Interscholastic Swimming Coach of the Year.

Coach Watson brought the Hinsdale Central program into the national spotlight. He worked tirelessly to ensure that every swimmer reached his or her potential and would have the opportunity to swim at the collegiate level if they so chose.

After retiring from Central, he moved on to become the Director of the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center at the University of Texas at Austin. He recently completed his 23rd year there. In 2000, he was awarded the prestigious University of Texas Frank Erwin Award for his contributions and achievements.

Today, Don actively lives in Austin with his wife, Jan. The Watson's have two children, Ann and John. In May 2003, he competed in the National Masters Swim Meet’s 1650-yard freestyle as a 74 year old.
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