FREDERICK, MD—Don Boyer, five-time coach of the United States Deaflympic Track and Field team, passed away on Saturday July 13 after a years-long battle with Lewy body dementia. He was 75.
The legendary coach, whose career spanned half a century, is known for a competitive spirit complemented by compassion. Over his coaching career, which started at the Governor Thomas Johnson High School in Frederick, MD, and later Middletown High School, his tutelage has impacted over 5,000 athletes, including 76 individual state champions, 18 relay state champions, 10 team state titles, and six cross-country team titles and one indoor track state title. He also coached the Deaflympic team in 1989, 1993, 1997, 2001, and 2005.
As an athlete, Boyer ran for the University of Maryland, where he ran the 400-meter dash in 48.8 seconds and the 800 in 1 minute, 53.1 seconds. Even at 45 years old, he is said to have run a sub-2:20 in the 800 meters.
Thomas Withrow, USA Deaf Track and Field President remarked, “USA Deaf Track and Field has lost a great coach and friend in Don Boyer, who was well liked by athletes and coaches. Through five Deaflympics, Don’s dedication to the team has made an indelible mark on our community. We wish his wife, Sharon much comfort and love.”
An article in the Frederick News-Post cites an entry posted online by Boyer’s son, Monte, that said, “Appropriately, this was the most beautiful day possible. At just before 4 [p.m.] Middletown time, Dad completed his race surrounded by Mom [his wife, Sharon], Donna [his daughter], Dennis [his son-in-law] and Monte.
USA Deaf Sports Federation is grateful for the impact Don Boyer created over fifty years in the track and field community.