Dean head of class; coach ouster puzzle
Updated: June 18, 2012 1:33AM
It took a special person to play on Hinsdale Central’s special 7-1 football team in 1954 that still holds the school record for fewest opponents’ points in a season (26), including just one touchdown in the tough West Suburban Conference.
Howard “Howdy” Dean, who died March 25 at 74, was one of those special players — a starting lineman as a junior on a team of talented seniors.
“Howard was a regular guy, a very noble person,” co-captain and Class of ’55 president G.R. Thomas said of the longtime president of Dean Foods Co. “He never let his success in life go to his head.”
Dean, a lifetime Hinsdale resident, turned his grandfather’s dairy into the second largest in the nation before its merger in 2001.
Doran to be missed
Hinsdale South will have a tough time replacing basketball coach Vince Doran, who inexplicably was dismissed after building a solid program at a school with the lowest enrollment in the two-division WSC.
Doran developed an age-group program, organized a 16-team Christmas Holiday Tournament, took his players on a basketball trip, helped 6-foot-8 star Brock Benson find a fit at Division III Hope College, assigned players to read inspirational books and blew the whistle on a Chicago high school for conducting an illegal practice at a Burr Ridge middle school.
Doran will continue teaching business.
Central’s lacrosse team felt the fear when six tornadoes were detected in the Louisville area two weeks ago, forcing all but one game of a spring tournament to be postponed.
“We didn’t see any cows fly by if that’s what you mean, but we definitely were worried,” Michael Pircon said.
Pircon, who is sharing goalie duties with Devin Chenelle and Ryan Lowe after starting in football, will pursue a mechanical-engineering degree at Iowa State.
May he rest in peace
Hinsdale South cross country coach and assistant track coach Dave Jackson is in mourning for longtime Evanston track coach, athletic director and 1960 Olympic silver-medal hurdler Willie May, who died last month.
“Willie was one of our country’s greatest track stars,” said Jackson, an Evanston alumnus, who was coached by May. “I was in touch with his wife right up until he died.”
Dr. Watson, we presume
A movement is afoot to have former Hinsdale Central swim coach Don Watson inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. under the category of Honors Coach.
Watson deserves it for a 163-3 dual-meet record in 16 Hinsdale years with 12 straight state championships, 26 individual champs, 167 all-Americans, etc. before directing the University of Texas Swimming Center where he hosted more than 30 major international, national and regional events.
“I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to swim for this exceptional person,” Russ Meyer said in 2003 when introducing Watson into Central’s Hall of Fame. “We live in a world where we are often defined and judged by the numbers — how many, how often, how long. However, this honor is bestowed for much more than the numbers, but for the kind of inductee he is and impact he has had on all the people who have been part of his legacy.”
Watson’s followers are urged to submit their International nominations to Bob Duenkel, executive director, International Swimming Hall of Fame, One Hall of Fame Dr., Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 33316, or email: email@example.com.
Nominations take about a year for the screening committee to review, but Meyer says the earlier the better.