Birthplace: Ponca City, OK
The blues sound that came from his trumpet matched the mood of high school bandsman Don Coleman as he sat, week after week, watching his Central High School team dominate the competition near and around Flint, Michigan. Coleman's mother had lost two other sons at young ages, and she wanted nothing to happen to Don. However, her son's persistence paid off, and in 1948, she gave him the "okay" to play football. Coleman became an instant starter for Central, led the team to the state championship and won All-Michigan honors. At Michigan State, Coleman became a swift and sure tackler, the first to be named to Notre Dame's All-Opponent team three consecutive seasons. In his 1951 senior season, Coleman was named MSU's Most Valuable Player and a unanimous All-America selection. That year, the Spartans posted a 9-0 record and finished second in national rankings. In a 32-12 victory over Penn State, Coleman displayed his tremendous pursuit abilities, making the tackle on every Michigan State punt and kickoff. Following graduation, Coleman became a respected educator, and eventually accepted the position of Dean of Students at his alma mater.
Michigan State University