University Of Dayton Flyers

Don Donoher, winningest basketball coach in UD history, dies at 92

DAYTON — The University of Dayton is mourning the loss of a former Flyer men’s basketball captain and legendary head coach.

Don Donoher has died at the age of 92, the university announced on Friday.

Donoher is the all-time winningest coach in UD basketball history and a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, the University of Dayton Athletic Hall of Fame, the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame, the Toledo Area High School Hall of Fame, and the Toledo Central Catholic High School Hall of Fame.

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During his time as a coach at UD, Donoher led the Flyers to a record-setting 437 wins. He also led the Flyers to nine NCAA tournament appearances and seven NIT appearances, winning the NIT championship in 1968. His teams reached the Sweet Sixteen five times, the Elite Eight twice, and the NCAA championship once.

As a player, Donoher was a member of the only UD team to play in the NIT and the NCAA tournaments in the same season as a sophomore. He served as a captain his senior year.

Before rejoining the Flyers as a coach, Donoher spent time scouting for UD and serving as an assistant coach at Chaminade High School in downtown Dayton. He was brought back to UD by his former coach, Tom Blackburn to serve as the University’s first full-time basketball-only assistant coach in 1963.

He was named UD’s head men’s basketball coach when Blackburn succumbed to terminal lung cancer in March 1964. Donoher coached for 25 years and became the first coach to take his alma mater to the NCAA championship game in 1967.

In 1984, he served as the assistant coach on the United States’ gold medal-winning team at the Olympics in Los Angeles.

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Both his basketball acumen and strength of character were recognized when he was the 2017 recipient of the USBWA’s Dean Smith Award.

“Coaches selected for the award are recognized not just for their success in basketball. They are chosen for their principles of honesty and integrity, for treating all people with courtesy and respect, for accomplishments off the court, and for the impact they have made on their community and the lives of their players,” UD explained in a statement.

At the time of his death. Donoher was the oldest living coach to have taken a team to the Final Four.

Donoher, who also served as UD’s Director of Athletics from 1976 to 1980, was inducted into the Dayton Region Walk of Fame in 2016.

In a statement posted to social media, current Flyers head coach Anthony Grant honored Donoher.

“I am eternally grateful for Coach Donoher’s impact on my life over the past 40+ years. I’m grateful for the life he lived, the lives he touched, and the legacy he leaves. Thank you Coach! I love you! Rest In Peace...Great game!” Grant wrote.

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