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Former Heights coach Charles ‘Goose’ Doughty dies at 80

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, at 3:29 p.m.
  • Updated Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, at 6:03 a.m.

When Heights boys basketball coach Joe Auer moved to Wichita for his first teaching job, just out of college in 1988, Charles “Goose” Doughty took him under his wing.

“I was just a young guy, didn’t know a soul in Wichita,” Auer said. “He introduced me to people like Linwood Sexton. Coach was really my introduction to the community as a young guy. He’s quite a treasure for this community.”

Mr. Doughty died at the home of his daughter, Rev. Cherryll Doughty, on Saturday night in House Springs, Mo.

Mr. Doughty, who turned 80 in September, had been suffering from leukemia, Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

The visitation for Mr. Doughty is Nov. 4 from 6-8 p.m. at Tabernacle Bible Church on 1817 N. Volutsia, said Cherryll Doughty, his only child. The funeral is at 11 a.m. on Nov. 5 at Tabernacle.

He is survived by two grandchildren, Kesha Hill of Alexandria, La., and Brandon Cooper, of Wichita. Mr. Doughty also has four great-grandchildren.

Mr. Doughty coached Heights boys basketball from 1978-79 to 1994-95 and was 250-120 in that span, leaving with what was then the City League wins record.

He took Heights to the Class 6A tournament six times, finishing second twice, third twice and fourth twice. He coached such City League stars as Aubrey Sherrod and Antoine Carr.

Mr. Doughty also was a star basketball player, playing at Langston University in Oklahoma.

“He could shoot it from any place,” said Sexton, who was Mr. Doughty’s friend for decades. “He never seen a bad shot, never thought he would miss a shot.”

Mr. Doughty played with the Harlem Globetrotters for six months.

“He was a tremendous player,” Auer said. “He had quite a reputation for himself, and then he became coach at Heights where he coached some of the greatest players in the history of the City League.”

Mr. Doughty is in the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma basketball hall of fame and the United States Tennis Association’s Missouri Valley Hall of Fame.

His USTA hall of fame induction in 2010 was due to his contributions to tennis. For nearly 50 years he ran a tennis program at McAdams Park for underprivileged children. He also coached tennis at Heights and Southeast.

He enjoyed working with the athletes, but mostly he was passionate about teaching a life-long sport.

“A lot of kids say 'I don't like tennis,' but they've never tried it," he said for a story in The Eagle in 2010. “Tennis is different than most sports. You don't ever have to retire.”

Doughty’s tennis program is yet another reason Auer admired the former coach.

“How many young kids in this community were introduced to tennis by (Doughty)?” Auer asked. “He viewed tennis as a sport he could teach a lot of kids a lot of life lessons.”

Cherryll Doughty, who cared for her father since December 2012, remembers her father’s love of coaching and having athletes at the house most weekends.

“He was very competent, very protective, very uplifting,” she said of her father’s coaching. “He always told them, ‘You can do it.’ He made the kids feel as though there was nothing they couldn’t achieve.

“He was a very soft-spoken person, quiet, except when you wanted to talk sports. Then he talked your head off.”

Doughty was a teacher for 39 years and ran his tennis program at McAdams until 2011.

“He’s a legend,” Auer said. “He’s a legendary figure in the community and Heights High School. He’s touched a lot of lives in his career.”

Reach Joanna Chadwick at 316-268-6270 or jchadwick@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @joannachadwick.

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