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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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LAWSON, Don. (Ottumwa, IA- ). Lawson was named the Mississippi Valley Conference Coach of the Year and Iowa District Coach of the Year in 1987. Head coach of boys' track at DUBUQUE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL in 1990, Lawson coached football for thirteen years and track for twenty-three years at the high school level. In 1979 he wrote a series of thirteen track and field technique books entitled Sport Flips. (1)

Lawson taught physical education and coached men's track at Dubuque Senior from 1974 – 2006. He was an assistant track coach from 1974 – 1981 before becoming the head men's track coach in 1982. (2) Lawson continued as the head coach until his retirement in 2006. During Coach Lawson's twenty-four years as head coach, he was three times Iowa State Regional Coach of the Year, five times the MVC Track Coach of the Year and, in 2000, Lawson was the Drake Relays High School Referee. Coach Lawson's teams won 19 City Championships, five MVC championships, and had five top ten finishes at the State Meet, including the team state runner-up finish in 1996. Coach Lawson also was selected twice to coach the Junior Olympic Track Team, taking those teams to Spain and China to compete.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Lawson was a business board member of the BARN COMMUNITY THEATER, participant in several community theater productions, and a member of the Screen Actors Guild. A professional model for six years by 1990, Lawson worked in television commercials for such businesses as Dain, Bosworth Brokerage, KCRG television, Cedar Rapids Gazette, and the Quad City Times. He appeared in print advertisements for the John Deere Company, Norand Corporation, Life Investors of Iowa, and Hon Office Furniture.

Lawson played an extra in an episode of the television series Mississippi and the movie Field of Dreams. He was among the actors in the Die Laughing Mystery Dinner Theater Players. (3)



1. Windler, Bill, "Sequence Pictures Assist Track Coach," Telegraph Herald, February 11, 1979, p. 15

2. "Don Larson Senior's New Track Coach," Telegraph Herald, December 1, 1982, P. 11

3. Blocker, Sue, "It's Killing," Telegraph Herald, February 7, 1988, p. 24