Dan has covered Cleveland sports in print and on the air since 1964 when he joined The Plain Dealer shortly after being discharged from the Army at age 25.
His first assignment was the high school beat and over the course of 18 years with The Plain Dealer he covered virtually everything and won most significant awards. For much of that time he was Chuck Heaton’s backup on the Browns and Russ Schneider’s backup on the Indians. He was the fulltime baseball writer in the late ’70s. He covered major college football games, including the major bowl games involving Notre Dame. He was the boxing writer and covered fights from the old Cleveland Arena to Madison Square Garden, including the Ali-Frazier series. He covered 17 Indianapolis 500s and several European races. He became the soccer writer during the brief era of big time pro soccer with the Cleveland Stokers. He was at rinkside for the U.S. hockey team’s victory over the Soviets in the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid. At one time Dan and Chuck Webster turned slow pitch softball into a major beat.
He liked to say that he loaded up for the football season by changing the ribbon in his portable typewriter every Labor Day. “I covered the big high school game on Friday, a big college game on Saturday and the Browns every Sunday. And they paid me to do it. It was like going to Cedar Point every weekend,” he said.
With a growing family in 1982, he needed a bigger house and accepted an offer from the Cleveland Press, which went out of business three months later. Nevertheless, the Coughlin family got their bigger house and Dan got a new career in television at Fox 8. He’s still there 35 years later.
Dan started his newspaper career on the high school beat and now, at the other end, he still covers high school football games every Friday night on television.
Both Dan and his wife, Maddy grew up in Lakewood and now live in Rocky River. They have four grown children and 11 grandchildren.
Dan went to St. Edward High School and Notre Dame. He served on the St. Edward board of trustees for 20 years. He is a past president of the Press Club of Cleveland and, for no known reason, is in the Greater Cleveland Softball Hall of Fame.