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Midland Mourns Passing of Coach Don Watchorn


Midland University was saddened to hear of the passing of Hall Of Fame football coach Don Watchorn.

Watchorn, who passed away at age 91 on Friday, Oct. 20, may be remembered more for the relationships he developed and fostered with student-athletes, coaches, and the Fremont community, than the 116-81-3 record he compiled during his 21 years at the university.

“The biggest thing with my dad was always the relationships,” his daughter, Carolee Cronin, told the Omaha World-Herald.

Midland was the last stop in the 40-year coaching career for Watchorn. He arrived at Midland in 1971, bringing with him a wishbone offense featuring a strong running game. Over the years, he would lead the Warriors to nine conference championships.

Coach Watchorn’s 1987 team compiled a 7-2 regular season record and advanced to the NAIA playoffs. In September, the entire team was inducted into the Warrior Athletic Hall of Fame, joining Watchorn, who was a 1992 inductee.

Midland honored the coach and his wife, Joan, in 2005 when it created the Watchorn Football Complex to house the team’s lockerroom and coaching offices.

Coach Watchorn, a Navy veteran, was preceded in death by Joan, two brothers and two sisters. He is survived by his daughter, Carolee, and son-in-law, Patrick Cronin of Fremont; four grandchildren; three great grandsons; and a sister.

Visitation is 3-8 p.m. today at Ludvigsen Mortuary Chapel in Fremont. The funeral will be 10 a.m. Tuesday at First Lutheran Church in Fremont.

More about Coach Watchorn:

Fremont Tribune

Omaha World-Herald:

Full obituary:

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