Staff Writer Don O’Brien has been with the Herald-Whig since Jan. 6, 1997. He served in the sports department as a writer for two years and took over as sports editor on Jan. 15, 1999. He remained as sports editor until Aug. 26, 2012. He crossed over to the news side on Aug. 27, 2012, where he became a general assignment reporter. His primary responsibilities are courts and crime and the Quincy Park District.
O’Brien is from enemy territory, having grown up in Galesburg. He’s a 1993 graduate of Eastern Illinois University. Prior to coming to Quincy, he spent three years on the sports copy desk at the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette.
Don and his wife, Stacey, who is the director of Human Resources at John Wood Community College, have two sons — Derek, 13, and Reid, 8.
The top moments in his life (other than his marriage and birth of his children) include:
1. Playing a round of golf at Augusta National after winning the media lottery on April 11, 2005. He actually made a birdie on No. 15 during the round and did something that Tiger Woods couldn’t do the day before in winning the green jacket — getting the ball on the green in regulation at No. 16. Of course, Tiger went on to make his infamous chip-in for birdie. O’Brien wound up three-putting for bogey as part of a round of 109 from the member tees.
2. Meeting his idol, Michael Jordan, prior to a Chicago Bulls game on April 12, 1987. After meeting O’Brien, Jordan went on to win six NBA championships.
3. Getting hired by the Herald-Whig. O’Brien has won several writing awards and has been fortunate enough to cover five Masters, two World Series, the Chicago Cubs in the 2003 NLCS, two NFC championship games and the 2005 Final Four.
He is the commissioner of the PPGA — Pretty Poor Golfers Association; a proud member of the Herald-Whig Demons/Ted’s Shirt Shack Division V championship-winning softball team; and coaches his sons’ various youth sports teams.
You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (217) 221-3370.