Don Mohr, Wright State University’s first director of athletics, passed away Sept. 20 in Atlanta, Ga. He was 89.
During Mohr’s tenure, Wright State started 14 sports, including five for women.
“Wright State certainly has lost one of its pioneers and someone we all owe a great deal of debt,” Wright State Director of Athletics Bob Grant said. “His accomplishments and forethought have enabled us to become what we are today. He will be sorely missed.”
Mohr started at Wright State in 1966 as head of the financial aid, placement and veterans offices. He started an athletics department for the 1968-69 school year and in 1971 was named director of athletics. He held that position until his retirement in 1981. He was succeeded by Michael Cusack.
Mohr was also head baseball coach for three seasons, leaving to devote more time to his duties as athletics director, intramural director and PE Building director.
Mohr spent four years as chairman of the Great Lakes Division II Regional Advisory committee and one year as a member of the national selection committee. He also was a member of the NCAA’s Committee on Committees, one of the organization’s most prestigious appointments.
During Mohr’s tenure, women’s swimming placed fourth in the AIAW, while the men placed 21st in the NCAA. Golf advanced to four NCAA Tournaments and placed as high as 19th. The volleyball team won state and regional titles, advancing to the national tournament, while the women’s basketball team placed second in the OAISW Championships. Cross country, wrestling and basketball also represented Wright State in NCAA Tournaments.
Mohr attended Cincinnati North College Hill High School, where he played football, basketball and baseball and ran track, before serving as a Marine sergeant in World War II. He later coached and taught at Cincinnati Reading High School and scouted for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds. In 1956, he was named principal and head baseball coach at Reading, where he stayed until joining Wright State in 1965.
After retiring from Wright State, Mohr moved to Martha’s Vineyard, where he spent the next 26 years before moving to the Atlanta area to be close to his children.
Born Sept. 10, 1923, Mohr was the first inductee into the Wright State Athletic Hall of Fame, in 1985. He received a Master of Education degree from Xavier University in 1961.
Mohr is survived by his wife of 44 years, Marian, as well as children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Service arrangements are pending.