The Late David Webster Among COD’s 2022 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees


Nick Karmia, Sports Writer

One of the longest-serving and most accomplished coaches in College of DuPage’s history had a poetic induction into the school’s athletic hall of fame last week, as COD hosted its third annual Athletic Hall of Fame Ceremony at the Hilton DoubleTree in Lisle on June 4. 

The ceremony inducted six new members into the ranks of COD’s top sports performers of all time. “The College of DuPage Athletic Hall of Fame was created to honor those student-athletes, coaches, and support staff whose actions and achievement in their sport brought distinction to the college.” reads COD’s Hall of Fame webpage at 

These individuals are being honored for their “outstanding athletic achievements, sportsmanship and character.” 

Each inductee must be nominated and fit certain requirements to be eligible for COD’s Hall of Fame. Potential candidates can be alumni competitors, former or current COD coaches and members of the athletic support staff. “Individual contributions to the COD athletic department such as coaching awards, team championships, success of program, and character development” are all considered to be important guidelines for Hall of Fame admission, according to the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee’s conditions on

The June 4 event marked the third class for COD’s Athletic Hall of Fame. School officials inducted the first two classes in the spring and fall of 2019. The six newest inductees for 2022 are: Jeff Kaminksiy, Bethany Rooks, Jim Sokolowski, Kristen Gabel Steele, David Webster and LuAnn Zimmick. 

A detailed presentation about each newly elected member was given. This included articles and images of these alumni from their time as competitors, as well as video segments of coaches and teammates who have been close to these inductees over their athletic career. 

Each inductee was also given the opportunity for their own speech, allowing them to talk about challenges they faced during their experiences in sports, and to give thanks to those who have helped them achieve such excellence. 

Among the newest members of COD’s Athletic Hall of Fame is David Webster, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 75. Webster was born January 5th, 1941, in Boston, Mass. He graduated from Boston English High School in 1958, and went on to attend Boston University to earn a bachelor and masters of science in physiology. 

During his time at Boston University (1959-62), Webster also played singles tennis and took part in gymnastics. Webster went through many challenging tennis competitions and tournaments like the Jr. Wimbledon and Jr. Davis Cup, and on top of that, Webster was named a qualifier for the U.S Open in 1962. 

In the course of Webster’s gymnastics career he was the all-around winner at the New England Gymnastics Championships and became a NCAA finalist all in 1961. He was also named Modern Gymnast Magazine All-American in 1962. 

After college, Webster went on to become the strength coach for the New England Patriots, and also enlisted into the Marine Corps until 1963. From then on, Webster decided to move from Boston to Glen Ellyn where he began his influential 30 years (1969-99) of service to COD. 

During Webster’s career at the College of DuPage, he took on many different positions such as the men’s and women’s tennis and gymnastics coach, assistant football coach, assistant and head hockey coach, interim athletic director, and kinesiology professor. 

Webster guided COD’s tennis teams to become nationally ranked in the NJCAA top 12 seven times, and he had 128 state champions in both singles and doubles, with over 20 All-Americans. 

During Webster’s time as COD’s gymnastics coach, he had 60 national medalists, 300 lifetime wins, and 30 National Champions and All-Americans. At two different times, Webster was also brought on as an International Gymnastics Judge, judging the Olympic trials in 1968 and 1972. Webster was also inducted into the Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1989. 

During Webster’s presentation at the ceremony, Barbara and Andrew Webster, Webster’s wife and son, along with other members of his family, represented him for his induction into the Athletic Hall of Fame. Barbara Webster spoke on her husband’s momentous reputation, she told a story about a poem that Webster was memorizing for a speech he was going to give the next day. 

“It stuck with him, this poem” said Barbara Webster, “he remembered this poem for the rest of his life, it meant so much to him, he would say the words verbatim from his memory”. “One day, in front of the recreation director, he recited this poem” said Barbara In the later years of David’s life, he had developed Alzheimer’s and was being treated through different memory care systems. 

“[This poem] made such an important impact on his life; it’s how he lived his life, and how he coached his team.” The poem titled “Just Folks” by Edgar A. Guest, represents his life-long dedication to coaching in the most constructive and valuable caliber. Here are some lines from the poem which were read by Barbra Webster:

I fumbled, said the sad-eyed lad, and lost the golden chance I had. 

That’s quite alright, his coach replied, I understand how hard you tried. 

Forget it now, go back and fight, with all your strength, and all your might. 

If we knew all, and all could see, then deadly dull our life would be.  

Throughout all his careers, Webster remained an inspiration and leaves behind a legacy of accomplishments and guidance for those he was able to teach. Find out information about the other five inductees and more about COD’s Athletic Hall of Fame here: Hall of Fame – College of DuPage