Beloved Grundy County coach, Brian “Coach Mac” McDowell, was admitted to palliative care at Vanderbilt University Hospital earlier this month, prompting his daughter, Gina McDowell, to began planning the journey home to see her father before he passed away.
Coach Mac was suffering from cancer and was told by doctors he had just weeks to live. Turning to social media, Gina raised enough money through the support of the Grundy County community and others for passport fees and travel expenses, arriving at the hospital last Friday.
On Christmas Eve, Coach Mac was taken back to his home in Winchester where he will receive hospice care.
“He will be where he wants to spend his last moments around people and things he loves and his own walls and his beloved Kitty Mona Lisa,” McDowell’s daughter posted on Facebook.
Coach Mac taught in the Grundy County school system for 33 years. He motivated hundreds of kids from teaching P.E. at Tracy City Elementary School and coaching wrestling at Grundy County High School.
“If I could affect one kid each year I’ve done my job, then when you find out you’ve affected so many more, I’m blown away,” Coach Mac told WRCB. The coach had beat cancer three times before it came back four years ago, forcing him to retire.
Coach Mac passed away at his home on December 25.