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Lodi coaching legend Don Womble leaves lasting legacy

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Posted: Thursday, November 25, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 7:45 am, Thu Nov 25, 2010.

Don Womble, considered a coaching giant by his students and peers, died Tuesday night after a long battle with leukemia. He was 84.

“It was peaceful. He went with dignity,” his wife of 61 years, Louella “Lou” Womble, said on Wednesday. “He’s in a better place.”

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18 comments:

  • Leslie Pombo posted at 10:39 pm on Fri, Dec 3, 2010.

    Leslie Ryan Pombo Posts: 1

    Mr. Womble was my eighth grade teacher at Houston School many years ago and has held a very special place in my heart for all those years. During my years as assistant coach for Tracy High's cross country teams and distance runners in track, I looked forward to my time with Coach Womble when we would see one another at the division meets. For the past 12 years I have taught eighth grade at a small country school. Every day of those 12 years Mr. Womble has and will continue to walk through that door with me. He inspired me to give back to kids as he did every day of his life. So much of him is in my teaching style. I even run with my kids as he did with his eighth graders so many years ago. Mr. Womble's legacy goes on... He will be dearly missed.

     
  • Curtis Travis posted at 12:29 pm on Tue, Nov 30, 2010.

    Curtis Travis Posts: 2

    Coach Womble was my freshman P.E. teacher.As a 14 yr old freshman he seemed like a grumpy old guy! By the time I was a senior I had gotten to know him quite well. He was just a no-nonsense kind of guy but away from the P.E. class he was great. Funny,witty and always willing to give you encouragement or a compliment about the good game you had, even if you weren't a cross country or track athlete. When I started coaching soccer in 1993 at Lodi High I ran into him: He looked me in the eye and said " You already played 4 years of high school soccer, I don't think they will let you play 4 more!" Hadn't seen him in 8 years but right away he had something funny to say to me. I had some much respect for him and was deeply saddened by his passing. I think I can speak for all of Lodi High Schools coaching family: He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.

     
  • Jess Serna posted at 8:54 am on Mon, Nov 29, 2010.

    Jess Serna Posts: 1

    Mr. Womble was my and my brothers' and sister's 8th grade teacher. Many people come in ones' life, but not many like Mr. Womble. He truly was and will continue to be one of my heros. Thank you Mr. Womble, you will be missed.

     
  • Gary Knackstedt posted at 5:01 pm on Fri, Nov 26, 2010.

    Gary Knackstedt Posts: 12

    Don was my mentor, colleague, and friend for 39 years. I am honored to be so closely associated with Don as coaches and as friends. I will miss him.

     
  • Tod Anton posted at 4:12 pm on Fri, Nov 26, 2010.

    Tod Anton Posts: 1

    Don Womble led his profession in knowledge, commitment, compassion and sportsmanship. For 19 years we worked together on the Lincoln/Lodi cross country invitational at Lodi Lake. Don set the example for fellow coaches in giving attention to each student athlete and rewarding for personal growth. Above all was his decency and dedication to serving youth. He was inspirational to me, especially in recent years as he continued to coach while battling leukemia.

     
  • Tina Fua posted at 3:05 pm on Fri, Nov 26, 2010.

    Tina Fua Posts: 22

    He coached me for discus and shot put and was an inspirational man. I have such fond memories of our times on the field. He always knew just how to get 100% out of you when you didn't even know you had anything left. My prayers go out to his family. God Bless...

     
  • jefrey aberle posted at 8:46 am on Fri, Nov 26, 2010.

    jeffrey aberle Posts: 1

    won domble was the greatest coach/teacher FRIEND a person could have. he always had time to chat even at the worst of times. he drove use to places we never dreamed of reaching on our own. when driving by the lodi track you coud count on coach womble visble out there with a new group of students. this was the only teacher i NEVER heard a sour note about. coaches like don are a billion to one, and the good thing was i got to see frist hand why lodi high will miss coach womble not just lodi high loss but a loss to humanity. I WILL NEVER STOP THINKING ABOUT WON DOMBLE. godspeed coach.

     
  • Colleen Lanchester-Raynie posted at 7:11 am on Fri, Nov 26, 2010.

    Colleen Lanchester-Raynie Posts: 1

    Mr. Womble encouraged and touched more than many may realize. A member of the Lodi High Drill Team in the late '70s, I remember Don videotaping our halftime shows, then playing them back with advice on how we might better the next performance. A special man, indeed. I look forward to paying my respects at Womble Field when I return for our 35-year reunion.

     
  • Jackson Scott posted at 6:59 pm on Thu, Nov 25, 2010.

    Jackson Scott Posts: 384

    Most coaches are measured by the number of wins they have, or how many championships, etc. Coach Womble will always be remembered for the 1000's of lives he touch will teaching & coaching at Lodi High.

    My sincere condolences to his wife, children, & grandchildren.

    Womble Field. What a great way to honor the man as a person, a great coach who always got the most out of an athlete, & a LHS icon.

     
  • Steve Schmidt posted at 4:51 pm on Thu, Nov 25, 2010.

    Steve Schmidt Posts: 2239

    When someone says the word "coach" Don Womble is the image that comes to my mind.

     
  • Bev Lacy posted at 12:04 pm on Thu, Nov 25, 2010.

    Bev Lacy Posts: 6

    I was a fellow teacher and had great respect for Don. He was loved by all of his students. He always had a smile and a kind word. He encouraged his students to be the best that they could be. He will be missed by his colleagues. My condolences to his family. Bev Lacy

     
  • Rebecca Phillips-DuBois posted at 11:59 am on Thu, Nov 25, 2010.

    Rebecca Phillips-DuBois Posts: 1

    Coach Womble was my cross-country and track coach for four years at LHS. He was every bit as wonderful, inspiring, and positive as everyone says. I loved that he would run with us during practice. My favorite quote from his was to "take no prisoners" during our races. What a legend! He always wanted us to strive to achieve our personal best , and that is something that has stayed with me long past my high school days.

     
  • David Sprenger posted at 10:58 am on Thu, Nov 25, 2010.

    Dave Sprenger Posts: 1

    What an amazing man. I have great memories of Coach Womble. He was very kind and personable, and had a way of making everyone feel important. He is really a local hero --> Womble Field!

     
  • Sara Rouse posted at 9:46 am on Thu, Nov 25, 2010.

    Sara Rouse Posts: 1

    Coach Womble had as much caring, time, and concern for the athletes at the "back of the pack" as he did for the stars. He was a Lodi High treasure and will be missed. Is there a place to make a donation in his memory?

     
  • Scott Trotter posted at 9:17 am on Thu, Nov 25, 2010.

    Scott Trotter Posts: 16

    My condolences to the Womble family. I am saddened by his loss. Mr. Womble was my P.E. teacher during my one and only year at Lodi High School. I wasn't an athletic guy, didn't know anybody, and was frankly intimidated by the size and strangeness of the school. Mr. Womble was the first person to shake my hand, the first person to look me in the eye, and the first person to know my name. Though I struggled every day with the physical demands of the class, Mr. Womble was always encouraging - and just a good guy at a time when I needed it. He gave me a "B", of which I was proud at the time and to this day.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:37 am on Thu, Nov 25, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    me too Brian. I was lucky to have him as my primary teacher for my entire eighth grade year at Houston school, Acampo. We had many private conversations where he helped me... He was a great human being and caring person.

     
  • Patsy Lithco posted at 7:50 am on Thu, Nov 25, 2010.

    Patsy Lithco Posts: 2

    Our condolences to the Womble Family...He was my daughters coach at Lodi High and Delta and will always be remembered for his wonderful coaching and encouragement. Students liked him so much and had so much respect for him.
    Patsy and Norman Lithco

     
  • Brian Dockter posted at 7:46 am on Thu, Nov 25, 2010.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2813

    My deepest condolences to the family. Don was one of my favorite teachers at Lodi High.

     

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