The Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame Association
Donald D. King Inducted 1997 - Class of 1949
If David Letterman were to create a "Top Ten List" of the prominent sports broadcasters in Toledo, Woodward's own Don King would surely be at the top of the list. . . No Kidding! Don has devoted the last 38 years of his life to high school sports in Toledo, yet has always remained a loyal Woodward Booster.
Don grew up in the Elm/Palmer Street area and attended Riverside elementary school. He describes his neighborhood as being "clean and close-knit, with well-kept lawns and friendly people."
Don inherited the nickname "Sky" King, based on the radio show. However, he kept his feet on the ground and recognized the important things about high school. . . why he was there. . . to pass exams and graduate! Don did graduate in1949 and remembers the "many great people that I met and enjoyed." Among his many friends were Don Samson, Sonny Smith, "Red" Johnson, Bob
Syperski, Ed Hoosen, Len Lapinski, and Delphine Golkiewicz.
In addition to his many friends, Don counts many teachers as his favorites for a variety of reasons: "Mr. Thompon was great with young boys. Mrs. Ersig made you learn. Mr. Rohr convinced me not to take French (there must be a story there!) . "Doc" Welever was understanding, and Elmer Jorderberg was always there for you. Arnold Brown was a wonderful man. Mrs. Tobin had a great sense of humor, although she was a sourpuss." Don credits two staff members as individuals who had a profound affect on him. He describes Harold Meek, the Dean of Boys, as one who had to be stern, yet he was fair. Principal Charles LaRue proved to Don that "THERE ARE GREAT MEN."
After graduating from Woodward, Don served for three years with the11th Airborne Division during the Korean conflict. He attended both Vanderbilt University and The University of Toledo.
Don's love for sports may have begun when he made the Junior Varsity football team as a freshman and started every game. High school sports stayed in his blood and became a focus of his life's work.
Don began his broadcasting career in 1958 with WOHO Radio, doing sales and assisting Gib Shanley with both high school and University of Toledo football and basketball game broadcasts. In 1960, when Gib Shanley moved to Cleveland to be the play-by-play announcer for the Browns, Don took over as WOHO Sports Director and lead play-by-play announcer.
In 1970, Don moved to WCWA Radio as Sports Director, replacing Frank Gilhooley, who had moved to television. His duties were broadcasting high school football and basketball games, as well as some games for Bowling Green State University. Twenty years later, Don was back at WOHO as Sports Director and high school sports broadcaster. He also continued a live phone-in scoreboard show, which he had started at WCWA in 1971; and a Saturday morning talk show, "Saturday Morning Live," which he had started at WCWA in 1983.
Don returned to WCWA in 1992 and remains there today. His Saturday morning talk show continues to go strong. In fact, since the inception of the Woodward Hall of Fame, Don has demonstrated his support through radio interviews of inductees.
Don estimates that he broadcasts an average of 15 high school football and 50 basketball games each year. He also covers special events such as the LPGA Jamie Farr Classic, Ohio Michigan Run, high school baseball tournament play, etc., etc., etc. In recognition of all his achievements, Don was inducted into the City of Toledo Hall of Fame.
Over the years, Don's had the support of his wife, Donna, and six children: Karen, Kathy, Therese, Kelly, Don D. and Casey. He also has six grandchildren: Staci, Seth, Eric, Anne Marie, Andrew and Christopher.
In the "just for fun" category, Don likes to travel, golf, read and go to the movies.
When informed of his election into the Woodward Hall of Fame, Don felt" honored, proud, surprised, and flattered." We share those feelings and are honored to have him with us tonight and proud that he's a Woodward Polar Bear!