Great coaches make an impact not only on the players they lead, but also on their communities. Such was the case with Ishpeming coaching legend Clermont C. Watson. For 37 years he was at helm of the Ishpeming basketball team, in addition to serving as the school’s football coach for 23 years. He is remembered not only for his disciplined approach to coaching, but also for being a gentleman who stressed defense and the fundamentals of the game. In addition to his coaching career, Watson taught physical education and mathematics at the high school.
Known as "C.C.”, he compiled a 444-206 record as the Hematites basketball coach, capturing 18 district titles and eight U.P. titles. His 1934-36 clubs won 43 straight games. In 1950, he led the Hematites to the Class B State Championship by defeating Grand Rapids Godwin, 43-37. In that same year, he was named the Coach of the Year by the Detroit Free Press and two years later was selected as the U.P. Coach of the Year. As a football coach, he posted a 64-79-12 record from 1923-1945, but his 1925 and 1926 teams both went undefeated with 7-0 records. Like many teams of that era, they did not get a chance to play in a state playoff.