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George “Coach Mac” McMillion

Birth Date: March 30, 1932
Death Date: November 7, 2017

George “Coach Mac” McMillion, age 85, of Richardson, Texas passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on November 7, 2017.

George was born in Coffeyville, Kansas on March 30, 1932, to Dr. John D. McMillion and Mattie Macon McMillion.

He attended Coffeyville High School and then attended Southern Methodist University where as a student McMillion was a captain of the 1954 SMU swim team. He won seven Southwest Conference individual championships including never losing a race in a conference meet in his specialty, the backstroke in all three years of his varsity competition. McMillion also helped the Mustangs to back to back Southwest Conference championships in 1953 and 1954, the first championships of the SMU swimming program.

George married the love and inspiration of his life, Jean Maness on April 11, 1954, in Coffeyville, Kansas. From 1955 to 1957 George served a two-year term in the Air Force in Little Rock, Arkansas as a first lieutenant. 

After serving his time in the Air Force he returned to Dallas, Texas to begin his distinguished career in teaching and coaching. He worked in the Dallas Independent School District from 1958 thru 1962 while also doubling as an assistant swim coach at SMU and pursuing his master’s degree from North Texas State University. Once he completed his master’s degree at NTSU in 1962 he became a full-time employee at Southern Methodist University working in the Physical Education Department while also being a full-time assistant swim coach. Due to his love of sports, he also refereed high school and college football on Friday nights and Saturdays. He succeeded Coach A. R. Red Barr in 1971 as the head swim coach at SMU. He led the legendary swim program to eight consecutive Southwest Conference Championships and was named Coach of the Year four times. He coached 78 All-Americans and 15 NCAA Champions, while his teams earned 14 NCAA top-10 finishes in his 17 years as head coach including the programs highest national finish ever of 2nd place in 1983. After retiring from coaching in 1988 he returned to teaching in the Wellness Program. In his final years, he served as an Assistant Athletic Director at SMU leading all men’s and women’s sports programs with the exception of the football and basketball programs. His retirement in 2000 culminated 42 years of service with Southern Methodist University.

Coach Mac will also be remembered for helping start up the Learn to Swim program for youth swimmers at SMU during which he and his coaching staff taught thousands of children how to swim in the SMU summer swim program which still exists today.

    

During his distinguished career Coach Mac was awarded the highly prestigious “Big D” award in 1978 and the SMU Letterman’s Silver Mustang Award and was inducted into the following Hall of Fames: the Coffeyville High School Hall of Fame; the Texas Sports Hall of Fame; SMU Athletic Hall of Fame; the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame; the Texas Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame; the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA). He was also honored last week when SMU opened the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center and Barr-McMillion Natatorium for the schools men’s and women’s swim teams.

 

    George is survived by his true love Jean, of Richardson, Texas. He also is survived by his three adoring children: son Stan McMillion of Richardson, Texas along with his son Michael McMillion and his wife Alison, his son Mason McMillion and his daughter Caitlin McMillion; and daughter Robin McMillion Eiland, of Midland, Texas and her husband Bill Eiland along with their daughter Elizabeth Eiland, son William Eiland and daughter Mattie Eiland; and daughter Jan McMillion Mansfield, of Plano, Texas and her husband Mark Mansfield along with their daughter Gable Mansfield, daughter Dibrell Mansfield and son Boone Mansfield.  Papaw (George) loved spending time with his 9 grandchildren and enjoyed supporting them at as many of their sports and school activities as he could fit into his schedule. George is also survived by his brother John Macon McMillion, of Duluth, Minnesota and his wife Melanie McMillion. He was predeceased by his parents and his sister Sue Ann McMillion Smith.

He will be lovingly remembered as a coach, great teacher, mentor, friend, role model, husband, father, and grandfather.

He was a long time member of the First Baptist Church, Richardson.

A celebration of George’s life will take place on Tuesday, November 14 at 2:00 PM at the First Baptist Church in Richardson located at 1001 North Central Expressway Richardson, TX 75080 with a reception to follow in the foyer of the church.

Memorial gifts may be made to The Coach George McMillion Men’s Swimming Endowment Fund at SMU, online at www.smu.edu/giving or by mail to SMU Gift Administration; PO Box 402; Dallas, TX 75275-0402 or to the First Baptist Church of Richardson at 1001 North Central Expressway Richardson, TX 75080.

 

 

 

 

A celebration of George’s life will take place on Tuesday, November 14 at 2:00 PM at the First Baptist Church in Richardson located at 1001 North Central Expressway Richardson, TX 75080 with a reception to follow in the foyer of the church.
Celebration of Life
November 14, 2017
2:00 pm
First Baptist Church - Richardson
1001 N Central Expy, Richardson, TX 75080
Get Directions
Reception to follow services
November 14, 2017
3:00 pm
First Baptist Church - Richardson
1001 N Central Expy, Richardson, TX 75080
Get Directions
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  1. Prather Class of 1969

    Written by: Dr. Craig M Prather

    I knew him in his role as assistant to our beloved Coach Barr. Regardless of being a diver and not a swimmer, George always impressed me with his personality and character. It was so gratifying to read of all his stellar accomplishments as a coach in his leadership after Coach Barr. The list was long and deserving. My personal opinion, as a missionary for 45 years, is that the short one sentence comment of “him being a faithful church member”, is really the basis of all the rest. He was who he was and did what he did with such character because he allowed Jesus Christ to coach his life, marriage, family, and all relationships of his career.

  2. Former High School Friend

    Written by: John Stephens

    I always admired George and appreciated his interest in my choice of colleges many years ago. As a fellow native of Coffeyville and Field Kinley athlete, we had common ties. Seldom does a C’ville reunion occur without George’s name coming up. He was a wonderful influence on many young lives.

  3. Stan and Family

    I had the good fortune of meeting Mr. McMillion several times. I have met several former swimmers who all speak highly of him.

    Work will likely keep me away Tuesday but I will stop and pray for your family.

    Pete

  4. We should all be thankful for the life of this wonderful man. Coach Mac was instrumental in helping me to become a football official. I never dreamed his guidance would lead me to the Southeastern Conference. He was a great friend of my parents and Kelley and I will greatly miss him. John R. Murrell

  5. Field Kindley Class of 1950

    Written by: Juanita George Clark

    George and I were members of the Field Kindley Class of 1950. I remember the swim meets in our school pool and cheering him on to victory. He was one of Johnny Charlesworth’s “little men” who succeeded so well for our school in state competition. May the memories his family and friends have sustain them in their grief.

  6. What a wonderful tribute to an amazing man. I am proud to have known him and to have been his pastor these 8 1/2 years. He was a wonderful Christian man and a great leader. Blessings to Jean and the entire family.
    — Ellis Orozco

  7. To Jean, Stan, Robin, Jan, and all members of the McMillion family:
    Your loss is our loss, but we all celebrate the life of a wonderful man. I had the good fortune to swim for both Coach Barr and Coach Mac – they were both coaches and role models in every sense of the word. Coach Mac’s kindness toward our son when he attended SMU, and his care for ailing swimmers such as our friend
    P.K. Brown, went far beyond what would be expected of most coaches. Our thoughts and prayers are with you now, and as we all continue mourn his passing and celebrate his life. The dedication of the new natatorium was a fitting tribute to him, as so many former swimmers in attendance will attest.

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