Doran Gotschall grew up on the eastern prairie of Colorado, enjoying small-town life, sports and horses.
Gotschall’s family moved to Calhan, Colorado, when he was 18 months old. Although he has seen several changes, some things have remained the same. “My mom still lives in the same house, and she still owns Eve’s House of Beauty,” he said. Gotschall’s mom has been a hair stylist for 50-plus years, and the beauty shop is attached to the family’s home. His dad worked for the El Paso County Highway Department, along with owning and operating two barber shops — one in Calhan and the other in Simla.
At age 8, Gotschall became active in the rodeo circuit. “I mostly did rodeoing in the summer and basketball in the winter,” he said. At age18, he was the world champion calf roper.
Gotschall played several sports, and received a track scholarship in 1986. He attended Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado, with plans to become an athletic trainer. Throughout his college years, Gotschall refereed basketball games. “I started refereeing basketball basically to make money so I could eat,” he said. He started refereeing college intramurals in addition to junior high and high school games. Quickly, his referee jobs expanded throughout the state of Colorado.
In 1991, Gotschall earned his bachelor’s degree in sports/health science and moved to Colorado Springs; where he began working as a physical therapist for Rose Rehabilitation (HealthSouth). Gotschall also worked as a high school sports trainer for Fountain Valley High School and Wasson High School, covering “football, basketball, track, gymnastics, lacrosse and wrestling,” he said. Eventually, a job as a referee opened.
Gotschall’s referee job took him throughout the state of Colorado, from high school to college. He spent several years working in medical sales, which gave him a more flexible schedule to referee games. “I ‘reffed' junior college Division II,” he said. “And now it is Division I men’s (basketball).” Since 2002, Gotschall has traveled all over the United States to referee. “It really is a people business,” he said. “You handle everyone differently but try to make it as smooth as possible with the grand scheme of the game itself,” Gotschall said. He is hoping to one day referee at the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) tournament.
Gotschall eventually left sales and established his own excavating business, DG Bobcat. With his business, he has flexibility as a referee. Gotschall spends most of his summer doing excavating jobs and other work like ground preparation for projects such as decks and fencing. When his schedule permits, he also does snow removal in the winter.
Since 1997, Gotschall has enjoyed living near Peyton with his wife, Pam, and their two children, Hunter and Katie.
Gotschall answered a few fun questions for the NFH.
NFH: Name three famous people you would like to have dinner with (dead/alive)?
Gotschall: John Wayne, Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter
NFH: Name something specifically you would change about the Falcon area? What is missing?
Gotschall: An In and Out Burger or more chain restaurants like Applebee’s or Taco Bell
NFH: What do you like about living on the eastern plains?
Gotschall: It is not crowded. I like space.
NFH: If you were just starting out in life, would you stick with the same career path or change it to something different?
Gotschall: I wouldn’t have done anything differently!
NFH: If you had to choose one food to eat every day for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
Gotschall: Pasta noodles with a good red sauce
NFH: How would you spend $1 billion?
Gotschall: Buy a house on the beach in Hawaii and travel; I’ve never been to Australia or Costa Rica.
NFH: If you could time travel, what period would you visit?
Gotschall: The 1900s and gun-fighting days (like Tombstone)
NFH: What is your greatest achievement?
Gotschall: I don’t know. It hasn’t happened yet.
Doran Gotshall has worn many hats, one as a referee for Division 1 men's basketball. Photo by Angie Morlan.