BORN OCTOBER 22ND 1950 in Espanola ON, Canada, the son of Joe and Margaret, he attended Espanola High School (1962-67) then graduated from Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology (1968-72) with a Diploma in Architecture specialising in innovative building technologies and materials. There he was the combined college archery runner-up and champion in consecutive years. He worked in various roles in Edmonton Alberta then moved to Australia in the late-1980s where he established a business in international sales and licensing of technology, while also working for various private companies. His business development in the Asia Pacific Region has now evolved over 30 years.
He was foundation coach of the Newcastle North Stars in the Australian Ice Hockey League in 2002. He continued with Coaching Director Rob Barnes in the 2003 to 2005 period, remaining there for a total of 10 years until his retirement in 2011. In that time he was either architect or assistant of the Club's first National Championships, winning the historic Goodall Cup for a record four times — 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2008. He also established a new league record, taking the Stars to seven consecutive grand finals in a row. In his time as coach, the Club was awarded Newcastle's Outstanding Senior Sports Team three out of four times since the awards were begun by Newcastle City Council — 2003, 2004 and 2006 — and finalists again in 2008. The North Stars had also set AIHL records in his time for most goals scored in a game by one team and for the greatest winning margin in a game (Canberra Knights, 21–2, HISS, 2006). In 2010 the Newcastle City Council awarded him Newcastle Sports Official of the Year.
He was Head Coach of the Australian National Senior Team at the World Championships in 2004, 2005 and 2006, winning two bronze medals and a silver in IIHF Division 2. He still plays Masters Hockey for the North Stars in the Oldtimers hockey league (OiHAN). Today he is a Consultant with Enviropacific Maritime Services and Glowify, as well as a museum committee member with Davson Art.
Ross Carpenter, 'Champagne, Don (1950 - )', Legends of Australian Ice, Melbourne, Australia, http://icelegendsaustralia.com/bio-champagne.html, accessed online .