Midland Mourns the Passing of Hall of Fame Coach, Jim McMahon

Midland Mourns the Passing of Hall of Fame Coach, Jim McMahon

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Long-time Midland University track/cross country coach and NAIA Hall of Famer, Jim McMahon has died. A noted educator and legendary coach, McMahon served the Warriors for nearly 40 years.

“Coach McMahon spent a lifetime preparing young leaders to excel in competition and in life,” said Midland University Director of Athletics Dave Gillespie. “Jim’s resolute commitment to cultivating excellence in student-athletes has shaped generations of Warriors, and his legacy will endure far beyond the athletes of today. He will be missed, but never forgotten.”   

The 2011 NAIA Track & Field Hall of Famer was inducted into the Midland University Hall of Fame in 1999, 20 years after beginning his coaching tenure with the Warriors in 1979.

Under McMahon’s guidance the women’s indoor team won the 1989 NAIA National Championship – Midland’s only national title to date. He was named the NAIA Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year and Omaha World-Herald Coach of the Year at the conclusion of that season.

He was named the NAIA District XI Cross Country Coach of the Year six times in his career and the District XI Track & Field Coach of the Year five times.

McMahon formally retired from his post as Midland head coach in 2012, but continued to serve as a volunteer assistant throughout the 2016 cross country season.

As a head coach, McMahon helped groom 24 individual NAIA National Champions and won a combined 50 conference titles between his cross country and track teams. Nineteen of his former student-athletes, and one team, are Midland Hall of Fame inductees. Four of those athletes are also his peers in the NAIA Hall of Fame.

McMahon’s reach on the Midland campus also extended to the classroom where he began as a physical education instructor in 1978.  He would go on to become an Assistant Professor teaching subjects that included first aid safety and theory of track & field. Furthermore, Jim’s wife, Karen, also impacted athletics, serving as the department’s administrative assistant for 26 years.