Lynam and Donathan earn Wittenberg University Sports Hall of Fame membership

December 14th, 2008    Author: Richard Crawford    Filed Under: Sports

Two former all-stars of the Clermont County League were recently inducted into the Wittenberg University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Don Lynam

Don Lynam graduated from Wittenberg University in 1975 and Bethel-Tate High School in 1971.

During his four years at the Springfield, Ohio, university, he was an important member of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) regular season championship teams of 1972-73 and 1973-74 and the OAC Tournament championship team of 1974-75. In his seasons of action the helped lead the Tigers to a combined record of 61-16.

He was an all-conference first team selection as a junior and senior and his sophomore year he was an honorable mention choice. His final campaign with the Tigers, Lynam earned the Tigers' honors as the most valuable player and the co-captain.

His final two campaigns in Springfield, he helped lead the Tigers to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Tournament.

Both seasons he was chosen to the All-Lutheran College team. He was a member of the Great Lakes Regional All-Tournament team as a junior and his senior year he was the most valuable player of he Great Lakes Regional Tournament.

The Wittenberg University Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony program stated, "A basketball program doesn't accumulate the most wins and best winning percentage in small college history without the like of Don Lynam, the type of under-appreciated performer who does little more than lead his teams to victory. Lots of them, in fact."

In Clermont County he was selected as a member of the Clermont County and Bethel-Tate High School sports halls of fame. He was a member of the Clermont County League basketball all-stars and was the most valuable player of the all-stars in 1971.

Lynam has been very active in the Springfield community since his graduation from Wittenberg with a bachelor's degree in business administration and a minor in physical education. He is serving as the president of the Springfield Family YMCA and the Exchange Club of Springfield. He is the president of the Tecumseh Council of the Boy Scouts of America, is on the advisory board for Gibault, Inc., and Mental Health Services of Clark and Madison counties.

He is an employee of the Home Federal Savings Bank where he is an executive vice president.

He and his wife, Andonia, and daughter Kristin, live in Springfield.

He said, "The relationships you develop with people at Wittenberg are what have the most impact on your life."

Wendel Donathan

Wendel Donathan graduated from Wittenberg University in 1989 and Western Brown High School in 1985.

He graduated with a master's degree from the University of Cincinnati and Marygrove College, Detroit, Mich.

During his collegiate athletic career, Donathan was the captain of the Tigers' wrestling team three years and was the team's most valuable wrestler all four years.

His senior year he was the Most Valuable Wrestler of the Ohio Athletic Conference. As a sophomore, junior, and senior he placed among the best three in his weight class every time in the conference tournament.

His final season he earned All-American honors with his third place finish in the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament. He is the only Wittenberg wrestler to gain All-American status.

At the conclusion of his spectacular career he had compiled an enviable record of 106 victories, 28 losses, and four ties which averages out to winning a very impressive amount of 78-percent of his matches.

Upon his induction into the Wittenberg Athletic Hall of Fame, he said, "Personally I grew to understand the importance of education and to share that with others. Professionally, I realized the importance of working cooperatively with others."

Today, Donathan is a member of the faculty of the Franklin City (Warren County, Ohio) School District. He has been the head varsity wrestling coach at Franklin where he has guided the Wildcats to three sectional titles and and total of 36 individual state tournament qualifier appearances with eight of them placing in the Columbus event.

Eight of his matmen moved up to the collegiate level of wrestling and one of those earned college All-American honors.

In 2001 he was chosen by his peers as the Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Association's Coach of the Year. He served as that organization's president the following year.

He coached the Cadet Ohio National teams of 2006, 2007, 2008 and his squad gained second place in 2007.

He is a member of the Western Brown High School Sports Hall of Fame and was a member of the Clermont County League all-star squads in wrestling and football.

Today, the son of Brent and Betty Donathan of Mount Orab and the grandson of the late Beulah and Millard Bramel of Amelia, lives with his wife, Cindy, and children Lauren (10), Tanner (7), and Benjamin (4) in Somerville, Ohio.

The Wittenberg University Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony program stated, "One of the greatest indicators of athletic passion is dedicating one's life to teaching the sport. Former Wittenbeg wrestler Wendel Donathan has done exactly that, using his four years on the mats in Springfield as a springboard to a distinguished coaching career in the sport."
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