John Donahue, who was known as “Coach D” across the Cape and served as athletic director at Nauset Regional High School for 40 years, died peacefully of natural causes on Oct. 16, 2021 at Beth Israel Hospital in Plymouth. He was 92. His death was confirmed by his son Jon.
Jack Donohue was born in Cambridge in 1929 to Lucille C. Donahue, who founded the Everbreeze Restaurant in Provincetown in 1935. He grew up in Cambridge, but spent summers at the Cape tip. He graduated from the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and continued his education at Dartmouth College.
His studies were interrupted when he joined the U.S. Army, serving as a rifle instructor and reaching the rank of 2nd lieutenant. During his army service in 1952, he married Antoinette Segura, who was his wife for 62 years. They welcomed their first son, Jon, before Jack completed his service. After his discharge, he returned to Dartmouth to finish his degree and to coach the freshman hockey team — the beginning of a long career in teaching, coaching, and athletic administration.
Jack and Antoinette lived most of their lives in Eastham, but they continued to summer in Provincetown, where he took over the Everbreeze from his mother.
Jack taught physical education at Barnstable High School before moving to Nauset Regional High School in 1959, the year of its founding. He spent the rest of his career there.
Coach D influenced the lives of countless student athletes and enjoyed the highest respect from opponents and colleagues. His soccer, hockey, and baseball teams won over 1,000 games. When asked about the highlights of his father’s coaching career, Jon said, “There were too many strong seasons and championships to name. To name one would be a disservice to the others.”
He loved watching his players develop as athletes on the field and mature into adults off the field. All three of his sons became coaches.
After he retired, Jack continued to coach as a volunteer for as long as he was physically able, first at Nauset High School and then at Nauset Middle School.
He leaves his sons Jon and wife JoAnn of Rochester, David and wife Lisa of Graham, N.C., and Michael and wife Jayna of Portsmouth, R.I. He was a loving grandfather to Janna, Jack, and Megan and was cherished by his great-grandchildren, Lucille, Vivian, and Catherine.
Jack was predeceased by his wife, Antoinette, and by a grandson, Michael. A celebration of Jack’s life will be held at a date to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Nauset Booster Club, P.O. Box 2174, Orleans 02653.
For online condolences, visit nickersonfunerals.com.