September 4, 1927 - December 8, 2011 OKLAHOMA CITY Donald E. VanPool, Sr. (Don), born September 4, 1927 in Geuda Springs, KS. Shortly after birth his family moved to Newkirk, OK, where he attended his first eight years of school. In 1940 the family moved to OKC. Don spent the remainder of his life in the OKC area.Don was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and May. He is survived by his "wonderful wife" of 62 years, Sevella; "three great children": son, Don II and wife Rebecca; son, Denny and wife Becky; daughter, Deanna; "two outstanding grandsons," John and Bart; brother, Jack and wife Rita of Lawton, OK; and sister, Carol Summers of OKC; numerous nieces and nephews, and many cousins.Don attended high school at Capitol Hill, participated in sports, lettering in four sports his last two years. In the fall of 1944, he was named to the All-State football team and was chosen by the student body as "Capitol Hill Boy of the Year." In the summer of 1945, he played in the All-State Football game at Taft Stadium. In the fall of 1945, he enrolled at Oklahoma A&M on a football scholarship. He played in the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 1946. Upon returning to Stillwater, he was inducted into the military. He served his required tour and was honorably discharged in time to return to Oklahoma A&M in 1947, where he was a three-year starter as an end.Upon graduation he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. He was not retained, and returned to OKC, where he began his coaching career. He coached at Capitol Hill 1950-51, Crooked Oak 1951-53 and Choctaw 1953-56. In 1956 he moved to Northwest Classen, where he coached for 15 years, 14 years as Head Basketball Coach. During that time his teams qualified for the State Tournament eight times, winning Championships in 1964, 1965, 1968, and finished as runner-up in 1970. He finished his career at Northwest Classen in 1971 with 250 wins and 95 loses. In the fall of 1971, he moved to Moore as Head Basketball Coach for six years finishing his coaching career with a total of 325 wins before changing over to Administration at Moore and Mustang. Don served a total of 40 years in the field of education.Don won numerous individual awards. He was the Big All City Coach of the Year three times, State Coach of the Year in 1964, Coached in the All-State game in 1967, Coached Oklahoma in the Faith Seven game against Texas at Shawnee Oklahoma in 1972. We won. In 1983 Don was inducted into the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame. In 1999 he was inducted into the Capitol Hill Hall of Fame. In 2002 he was inducted into the Oklahoma Boys Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. Also in 2002 the gymnasium at Northwest Classen was named in his honor, an award that he said "exceeds all the others." The family will greet friends from 5-7 p.m., Sunday, at the funeral home. Services will be held 1 p.m., Monday, December 12, 2011, at Vondel Smith Mortuary South Colonial Chapel, 6934 S. Western Ave., OKC.
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Published in The Oklahoman from Dec. 11 to Dec. 12, 2011