Inductees Coach "Mac" is known as the "Ageless Coach" - and properly so. He continues to serve as a volunteer football coach at Eureka College at the wonderful age of 95.
His coaching career started at Eureka College in 1921 where he coached all sports through 1936. Later coaching positions took him to Wartbury College in Iowa and Northern Illinois University where he became a legend as head basketball and baseball coach.
His retirement years brought him home to Eureka and the College he loves so dearly. Helping coach football serves his first love - football - his 68th year coaching the sport. He says, "football is a special game because it provides opportunities for growth in leadership, cooperation, and teamwork - to achieve a goal; it requires sacrifice, self-discipline and hard work."
One can't help but think of the positive influence "Mac" has had on so many coaches, players and those he has touched over the years. His best known ex-football player is exPresident Ronald "Dutch" Reagan. They still have a real affection for each other. "He still calls me 'Coach' and I still call him 'Dutch.'"
"Coaching is in my blood," McKinzie has said many times. "It hasn't always been fun, but I never lost interest in the game or the kids."
Imagine! Sixty-eight years of dedication to one sport. Ralph indeed has made a significant contribution to area sports history.
Coach "Mac" is known as the "Ageless Coach" - and properly so. He continues to serve as a volunteer football coach at Eureka College at the wonderful age of 95.
|2015 Female Athlete of the Year|
Gilbert repeated as the IHSA 2A state track champion in the 3,200 meters in the spring, clocking a school-record 10:34.13, and added a third-place medal in the 1,600 meters. The Peoria Notre Dame senior went on to defend her IHSA 2A state cross country championship this past fall. She also finished third at the Midwest Regionals, then earned All-America honors by finishing runner-up at the Foot Locker National Championship in San Diego. She completed the year by earning one of six positions for Team USA at the Junior Women’s International Cross Country Meet in Scotland.