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Don Kienlen

Inducted 1994

Biography

An all-around athlete, Don earned 2 letters at Elgin High School in football (Light Weights) and a letter in track (1932-1934). During the next two years at the Elgin Academy, he earned two letters in football, basketball, swimming and track. In football at the Academy, Don was elected team captain and earned most valuable player honors in addition to setting three track records in the 50 yard dash, the shot put and the javelin. He was an Elgin City swim champion in 1936 and an Elgin City diving champion from 1936 to 1941. In 1937 he entered the University of Illinois where he lettered in swimming (4 years) and track (2 years). In 1941, he placed third in the Big Ten Championship in diving and second in the Big Ten Championship in the javelin. During 1942-43 he was an assistant coach in football, swimming and track while teaching Physical Education classes at the U of I. He was selected for the National Honorary Athletic Fraternity, Sigma Delta Psi. After graduation, Don continued in teaching and coaching. At Joliet High School, he coached football (16 years), track (26 years), cross country (11 years) and swimming (15 years). He also coached golf for 4 years at Joliet Junior College, winning 3 state championships. He was a high school official for wrestling (20 years, including 10 years at the state high school championship), swimming (20 years, including 15 years at the state meet), track (10 years, including 2 at the state meet) and basketball (12 years). He was an outstanding handball player, winning many City of Joliet and state singles and doubles championships. He ruled Joliet handball for many years with 20 singles and 15 doubles championships. He placed 2nd, 3rd, and 4th at YMCA national doubles meets and 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th at national USHA doubles meets.