George “Coach Mac” McMillion
Birth Date: March 30, 1932Death 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.