O'Donohue usually played in defence or in the centre and played 109 games with Hawthorn. He was made captain during the 1950 season and kept that position until the end of 1952. In 1953 he went to Western Australia, where he became captain coach of West Perth for two seasons. O'Donohue's job with the CSIRO led him to accept an appointment to coach Deniliquin in the Murray Football League. He led Deniliquin to the 1957 premiership playing as a half back flanker. He returned to Hawthorn in 1966 as coach, but it was his only season in charge.