photo credits: Mark Stickel - GFDL
former American football player and coachwd:Q5293209
Donald Eugene Nehlen (born January 1, 1936) is a former American football player and coach. He was head football coach at Bowling Green State University (1968–1976) and at West Virginia University (1980–2000). Nehlen retired from coaching college football in 2001 with a career record of 202–128–8 and as the 17th winningest coach in college football history. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005 and has served as a president of the American Football Coaches Association.
Nehlen was a multi-sport athlete at Lincoln High School (Canton, Ohio) where he exceled in football, basketball, and baseball.
Nehlen played quarterback at Bowling Green (1955–1957) and led the team to a Mid-American Conference championship in 1956. He began his coaching career in 1958 at Mansfield Senior High School and then served as head coach at Canton South High School and Canton McKinley High School. Nehlen was later an assistant coach at the University of Cincinnati, Bowling Green, and the University of Michigan.
Since his retirement from coaching, Nehlen has been a spokesman for the coal industry. Nehlen received the 2002 Distinguished West Virginian Award from the West Virginia Broadcasters Association. In 2006, Nehlen published a book called Don Nehlen's Tales from the West Virginia Sideline, an autobiographical account recalling his 21-year tenure as the head football coach at West Virginia.
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