Don Jennings, a 1988 Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame member, passed away on May 24th as the age of 88.  Don was a charter member of the IHSBCA in 1971 helping to build the stable organization that it is today.  With his help and dedication to baseball in general, but also the players and coaches specifically, the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association has been able to provide services to high schools across the state enhancing the game of baseball.

Don Jennings will be missed and the game of baseball in Indiana has lost one of the great ones.  Below you can view his obituary from Greiner Funeral Home.

Donald Jennings Obituary

Donald P. Jennings, 88, passed away peacefully on Friday, May 24, 2024, at home with his family nearby. He was born October 13, 1935, in Farmersburg, IN, to Thomas and Stella (Bowen) Jennings. Donald's love story began in high school when he met his soulmate, Lou Anne Sullivan. Their bond grew stronger over the years, and they embarked on the journey of marriage in June 1958. Their love stood the test of time, and even in his passing, Lou Anne continues to carry his memory.

At Garfield High School, Jennings excelled in track and baseball. A sprinter, he lettered four years and, during his junior year in 1953, was undefeated in dual meet competition in the 220-yard dash, advancing to the IHSAA State Finals in that event and the 440-yard relay. A three-year letterman in baseball, Jennings moved on to play baseball at Indiana State University for Wally Marks. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1958 and a master’s in education from ISU in 1963. Jennings began his distinguished 40-year career in education in 1960. He taught physical education at elementary schools throughout Terre Haute while serving as head baseball coach, head cross country coach, and assistant basketball coach at his alma mater.

After consolidation, Jennings became the North baseball coach. By the time he retired from coaching in 1986, he had compiled a 370-149 career record, winning 11 sectionals, eight regionals, and two semi-state championships. His 1974 state championship team assembled a 25-2 mark. Jennings’ Patriots also were runners- up in 1983, losing in the title game to Fort Wayne Northrop at Bush Stadium in Indianapolis. His 1977 team was ranked #1 in the state and as high as #4 in the US high school poll before losing in the championship game of the Lafayette semi-final to Logansport. The team finished the year with a 27-2 record. His success on the field did not go unnoticed. In 1980-81, Jennings was elected by his peers as president of the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association and served several years as director. Named 1986 Indiana High School Baseball Coach of the Year, he was honored as Region Four (Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana) Coach of the Year by the National High School Athletic Association during ceremonies at the Superdome in New Orleans.

In 1983, Elks Lodge #86 presented him with the Order of the Cannon for outstanding youth leadership. He was also chosen to coach in the Indiana North- South All-Star series three times. In 1988, he was inducted into the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame in Jasper, IN, and recognized by the Breakfast Optimist Club. He was the recipient of the coveted Dick Martin Coaches Award in 1996 and the Vigo County Education Foundation Excellence in Education Award in 1997. He taught at 35 different Vigo County elementary schools during his career.

Finally, he was inducted into the Indiana State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2021, where he competed in track and field and baseball. Don and Lou Anne raised two children, Dr. Greg Jennings (Theresa Edwards), a dentist who played shortstop on his father’s 1977 team, and Gina (Sean Trevarthan), a 1985 North graduate. He is also survived by grandchildren James Ellingsworth (Callie), Natasha Ellingsworth, Dr. Alexandra Miller (Dr. Joey), Jordan Jones (Will), John Jennings, and Daisy Trevarthan. His great-grandchildren include Kiersten Duffy, Rylan Wright, Cainan Ellingsworth, Henry Jones, and Samuel Miller. He was preceded in death by his parents and a daughter-in-law, Janice K. (Reed) Jennings.
The Jennings family thanks his caregivers, physicians, and the Gentiva Hospice staff for their excellent care. Private services are provided on Friday afternoon under the guidance of Griener Funeral Home in Terre Haute. In place of flowers, please send donations to the Garfield Purple Eagle Plaza, c/o Wabash Valley Community Foundation, 200 S. 8 th St., Terre Haute, IN 47807, or the Vigo County Education Foundation, 501 W. Olive St., West Terre Haute, IN 47885.