Family, friends and former football players are remembering a legendary Middle Tennessee high school football coach.
Longtime Lipscomb Academy coach Glenn McCadams, 66, died Thursday from cancer complications.
For 31 years, his players at Lipscomb followed his leadership to 283 victories and three state championships, and McCadams was named the Tennessee High School Football Coach of the Year in 2008.
But it was his off-the-field life lessons that those players remembered most.
"He was a great man. He taught us how to be men," said former player Ryan Blankenship.
"When you're playing the game, you think it's all about winning the games. But after you've left the program, that's when you realize the impact Coach Mac had on your life," said former player Loren Sanders.
Sanders, Blankenship and Clay Lenning all played on Lipscomb's 2002 state championship team. When Coach Mac talked, they listened, and not just to the football plays.
"I honestly think of him as a second father. He meant so much to me and countless people along the way," Lenning said.
If you listen to his players, it's obvious that Coach Mac's calm sideline demeanor and the classy integrity he brought to the game rubbed off on the young men he taught all those years.
"In a day and age where in the world of sports there's not necessarily not many people to look up to, he was a guy we could all look up to," Blankenship said.
A native of Huntingdon, TN, McCadams graduated from Bethel College, and completed his master's degree at the University of Tennessee-Martin.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Alacia, and their two children, Chip and Jill, along with seven grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements have not been at this time.
"Lipscomb Academy has lost an irreplaceable icon in its history and its soul," L. Randolph Lowry, president of Lipscomb University said in a news release. "Coach Mac's time with the academy spans three decades and several generations of students. He knew his game, and taught it well. But more than that, he knew that the most important thing he was teaching was character and faith. Day after day, year after year, he taught thousands of young people that they had it within themselves to be better than they thought they could be, on the field and in life."
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