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La Pine HS, community mourn coach, ‘dream volunteer’ Robert ‘Mac’ McDaniel

(Update: adding comment, comments from former fellow coach, La Pine HS athlete)

Mac McDaniel passed away last week due to cancer

LA PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- For more than 20 years, Robert "Mac" McDaniel volunteered at La Pine High School, running scoreboards and coaching for just about every sport at the school.

McDaniel passed away this week, two years after a kidney cancer diagnosis forced him to step away from coaching.

“You come across a handful of people that are once in a generation, and he is one of those,” said Sisters Middle School Principal Matt Montgomery, who coached softball with Mac at La Pine High School.

“When you talk to former La Pine athletes, current La Pine athletes or community members and you say 'Mac' -- we are sad that he left us -- but man people light up with a big smile because of what he brought to the table," Montgomery said.

Mac started volunteering at La Pine middle and high schools in 2000. He operated scoreboards and coached baseball, basketball, football, softball and wrestling. When he stepped away after his diagnosis, his absence was sorely felt.

“It was different when I was playing on the court, and I’d look around and he wasn’t there, and it was definitely something I wasn’t used to,” Jace Earls said, a senior basketball player at La Pine High.

Becky DeForest, who works in the school's athletic department, called Mac a "dream volunteer" and told NewsChannel "everyone knew him."

Before last Friday's kickoff, the La Pine football team held a moment of silence for Mac. The team went on to win the game, 42-0.

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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.

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2 Comments

  1. Mac was absolutely the best. He was respected and loved by all kids, parents, teachers and staff. Mac cared so much for all of the kids. He was one of the best coaches around. He will always be honored in La Pine, and loved by all the students. He will be deeply missed. It will never be the same without him in the gym!!

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