The Don Of Hinsdale And The Open Water

Don Watson, one of the Class of 2013 International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrators, is a man of many talents.

It did not matter if Watson were on a boat on a lumpy lake with legendary John Kinsella, coaching a morning workout with the renowned Sandra Bucha or coaching 5 Olympians winning 4 medals, or organizing a community or high school program. Success was written all over his efforts.

His career continued to revolve around the water including his open water swimming coaching heyday when Kinsella and Bucha ruled the professional marathon swimming world like two teammates have never done before or since:

High School Coaching Record (1963 – 1978)

He was the administrative Director of a Comprehensive Aquatic Program and Swimming Coach at Hinsdale Central high School and authored the book The Hinsdale Swimming Program, a comprehensive guide to organizing a community and a high school aquatic program.

Hinsdale Swim Club Record (1963 – 1978)

In 1970, he coached John Kinsella who was the recipient of the Sullivan Award as the greatest amateur athlete of the year while a senior in high school. He was also selected as Coach of The Year by the American Swimming Coaches Association. During this period, his teams won 7 National Senior AAU Long Distance Swimming Championship Titles while he coached 5 Olympic Athletes and swimmers who set 2 world records and 3 swimmers on 5 world record relays.

University of Texas- Jamail Texas Swimming Center (1981 – 2005)

As the Administrative Director, he organized and conducted over 45 major competitions and activities including USA Olympic Swimming and Diving Trials, USA Swimming World Championship Trials,, three USA Swimming National Senior Swimming Championships, and 12 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Collegiate Championships Meets.

International Coaching and Manager Assignments (1970 – 1983)

He served as the team manager and coach of six major international competitions including the 1973 FINA World Championships in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

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Steven Munatones