Springfield North coaching legend Henderson dies at 87

Former North baseball coach Don Henderson shakes hands with the current players after throwing out a ceremonial first pitch to his former player, North assistant Doug Stoll, before North played Northwestern in the Panther Classic Saturday, April 12, 2008. Staff Photo by Barbara J. Perenic

Combined ShapeCaption
Former North baseball coach Don Henderson shakes hands with the current players after throwing out a ceremonial first pitch to his former player, North assistant Doug Stoll, before North played Northwestern in the Panther Classic Saturday, April 12, 2008. Staff Photo by Barbara J. Perenic

Henderson was hall of fame coach in basketball and baseball

Don Henderson, one of the most successful high school basketball and baseball coaches in Springfield history, died at 87 on Saturday after a long illness.

Henderson is a member of the Wittenberg Athletics Hall of Honor, the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame, the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame and the Miami Valley Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

RELATED: Henderson honored in 2016

Henderson was one of the founders of the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame.

This has been a passion for us, trying to keep the history of Ohio basketball alive," said Henderson in 2010 when he was inducted.

Henderson coached boys basketball at North High School from 1960-89. In one three-year stretch, his teams were 65-5. He won 368 games. He also coached baseball at North for 22 years, winning 252 games. He was a math teacher for 36 years.

RELATED: Hall of Fame honors local baseball history

The North gymnasium, which was torn down when Springfield High School was built, was named after Henderson.

"My greatest memories were the players I had and the effort they put into being amateur athletes and playing for their school and community, and my relationships with them," Henderson said in 2009. "And also my relationships with opposing coaches — guys who were very professional in what they did, and did it for the good of the people they served."Even though you competed with them like it was the last game you'd ever play, we'd walk off the court as friends with most of them. As a coach, you'll have heartaches and times to celebrate. That's pretty much how life is."

Henderson graduated from Cadiz High School, spent four years in the Air Force and then attended Wittenberg, earning eight letters in baseball, basketball and football. He graduated in 1950.

About the Author