The decision by Winthrop School Department administrators to hire a new boys outdoor track coach brings to a conclusion the long and distinguished career of former coach Pat McGee.
Winthrop has been blessed with outstanding coaches for both boys and girls in many different sports, but Pat McGee stands at the head of the class amidst the pantheon of Winthrop High coaching legends. Her boys track teams captured Northeastern Conference championships year after year in the 1990s and she has coached a plethora of individual state champions, despite having the smallest enrollment base of any NEC school.
Although that is a familiar refrain for all WHS sports, Pat’s championship teams were an especially amazing accomplishment in the sport of track because there are so many events. In addition, depth is crucial where points are awarded for the top three places in each event. The boys track team’s success was a testament not only to Pat’s coaching ability and knowledge, but also to her ability to get sufficient numbers of boys to come out for the team to be of championship caliber in a league dominated by larger schools.
Pat’s career of achievement has been recognized by the Mass. Track Coaches Hall of Fame, which inducted her into its hall a few years ago.
Although the WHS track programs have fallen on hard times recently, it has been because of factors beyond the control of Pat and the other boys and girls coaches. The imposition of a heavy user fee, which has increased in recent years, has been a direct cause of the dwindling numbers of boys and girls who have been coming out for track. In addition, the deplorable conditions of the track facilities at Miller Field have been discouraging for any potential young tracksters.
But beyond her coaching achievements, if there is one word to describe Pat, it would be “passionate,” a trait she has exhibited not only directly with her track teams, but insofar as every other endeavor in which she has been involved in our community. Her most recent cause has been trying to ensure that if funds are raised to renovate Miller Field, funds also are available for a total makeover of the aforementioned decrepit track.
Pat McGee truly is one of a kind, a person who has been an institution in our community for decades. We know we join with the hundreds of track athletes whom she has coached over the years and their parents in thanking her for her years of service.