Will McDonough was not one to call himself a pioneer, but that's just what he became in his 41 years at The Boston Globe. In his modest eye, McDonough simply saw himself as someone who reported the facts.
The pioneering days on the Globe started at about the same time the pioneering American Football League got underway. The Boston Patriots hosted the first AFL game September 9, 1960, losing to the Denver Broncos at Boston University. For McDonough, who had had an abbreviated football life at nearby English High School, the pro game was to be his main reporting interest.
McDonough became personal in a different light in 1973, during his brief tenure on a player-management firm run by former baseball broadcaster Bob Woolf. But Will returned to the Globe for the up-again, down-again days for Boston sports, when the Celtics would win The NBA Finals one year and the Red Sox would tease at a title the next.
The true pioneering ways of Will McDonough came in the late 1970s, when he split time between newspaper copy and sportscasting for major networks. CBS gave Will his first network job, and his tenure on CBs was virtually uninterrupted. He drifted over to NBC during that network's final years as an NFL carrier.
In addition to hosting a sports radio show, Will McDonough was a frequent guest on son Sean's The McDonough Group on Boston's WWZN-AM and several Patriots-oriented programs on WBZ-TV.
During the 1990s, heart problems may have slowed him, but Will McDonough knew to face his health in the proper perspective. Through those conditions, he watched as Robert Kraft built the New England Patriots into an emerging power, winning Super Bowl XXXVI.
McDonough died of a heart attack after the Patriots' 2002 season ended shy of the playoffs. He left behind his wife, two daughters, and three sons.