KidWorks mourns the loss—and celebrates the life—of Terry Donahue, a great friend and inspiration to all of us. He is also revered by countless sports fans for winning more football games as UCLA’s coach than anyone else in the school’s history.

‘Coach’, as many affectionately refer to him, passed away on Sunday, July 4, at the age of 77.

“Terry and the Donahue family have been tremendous friends and supporters of KidWorks for decades,” says David Benavides, our Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director. “Their vision and leadership for KidWorks go back to our early days. In the early 2000s, Terry’s late brother, Dan, mobilized the real estate industry in Orange County to raise funds to support KidWorks.  Later, at its grand opening, our main center was named in his memory, the KidWorks Dan Donahue Center.  Their brother, Pat, is also a treasured KidWorks friend.”

Adds David, “In  2014, we honored the Donahue Family with a Lifetime Giving Award at our Foundation for Success luncheon, Terry and Pat accepted the recognition on behalf of the family.”   

In the Daily Pilot’s coverage of that event, Terry Donahue was quoted as saying, “All of us have been blessed with opportunity. And opportunity is what gives you a chance in life, whether it’s educational, work-related or family related. It’s all about giving people the opportunity. I believe opportunity can define our lives. How we respond when it’s given to us and how often we can give back to others is really the key to it.”

Terry Donahue has been a longtime champion of KidWorks, serving previously as a Board Member and more recently as a member of our Advisory Council. In 2012, Mr. Donahue teamed up with USC’s John Robinson, another football coaching legend, as keynote speakers at our sixth annual Foundation for Success event. They shared stories and insights that thrilled gridiron fans with this once-in-a-lifetime conversation between two highly competitive football rivals.

In its story this week about Mr. Donahue’s passing, the Los Angeles Times wrote, “Under Donahue, UCLA won four Pac-10 championships and tied for another. Donahue became the first coach to win a bowl game in seven straight seasons, and his teams finished ranked in the top 10 nationally five times.”

“Terry was not only a football legend who inspired his players, he and his family are also legends at KidWorks,” says David. “Every student who walks through our doors and participates in our programs benefits from what the Donahue family helped make possible. And like all legacies, their family’s positive impact will extend to generations of KidWorks students yet to come. We will miss Terry, just as we miss Dan, and will always share the story of the Donahue family with the families we serve.”

Coach Terry Donahue will be remembered at our upcoming Foundation for Success Luncheon.