UPDATE: Beloved Grundy County coach dies after reunion with daug - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Beloved Grundy County coach dies after reunion with daughter

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GRUNDY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Channel 3 has learned that Brian McDowell has died. His daughter posted to Facebook that he passed away on Christmas.

Funeral arrangements for Coach Brian McDowell have been announced.

  • Viewing at Cumberland Mortuary Thursday, from 5:00pm-8:00pm
  • Funeral Friday, 1:30pm at the Chapel as St. Andrews School. Sewanee, with burial at Plainview Cemetery. Reception to follow at Christ Episcopal Church in Tracy City.

PREVIOUS STORY: A beloved Grundy County coach who has cancer reunited with his daughter in time for Christmas.

Brian McDowell or "Coach Mac" was admitted to palliative care at Vanderbilt University Hospital on Wednesday.

His daughter, Gina McDowell, raised enough money for passport fees and other travel expenses. She flew into Nashville on Friday to see him at the hospital.

"I am just so thankful to be here. It's these situations that makes me continue to have hope in humanity. Still amazed at how my father touched the lives of so many people. Especially enough for them to pull together and help with my travel for him to see me one last time," McDowell's daughter said.

On Christmas Eve, Coach Mac was taken back to his home in Winchester where he will receive hospice care.

"He will be where he wants to spend his last moments around people and things he loves and his own walls and his beloved Kitty Mona Lisa," McDowell's daughter posted on Facebook.


The Grundy County community and others are trying to help a beloved coach reunite with his daughter.

READ MORE | HOW YOU CAN HELP

Brian McDowell or as many call him "Coach Mac" has cancer. He's been told by doctors he has just weeks to live.   

Coach Mac has many favorite memories in his 33 year career. He's inspired hundreds of kids from teaching P.E. at Tracy City Elementary School to coaching wrestling at Grundy County High School.

"If I could affect one kid each year I've done my job, then when you find out you've affected so many more, I'm blown away," Coach Mac said.

Coach Mac is also known as a fighter. He's beat cancer three times, but four years ago, it came back forcing him to retire from a career he loved.

"I'm at the point now where doctors aren't giving me much time," Coach Mac said.

This time he's fighting multiple myeloma, which is a plasma cancer.

A couple of days ago, he said his goodbyes to his oldest daughter, Gina. She moved to Canada in 2000 to get married.

Gina told Channel 3 she last saw her dad five years ago when he was in remission. 

"I don't know if words could express what it would mean to me to see my father, to give him a hug, and to let him know how much I love him," Gina McDowell, Coach Mac's daughter said.

Coach Mac's daughter is trying to raise enough money for passport fees and travel expenses. Former students and family friends are helping spread the word.

"Because it's so important to him. I know it would make his life, make his day, if she were home to see him," Natasha McDaniel, a former student said.

"Just everybody in the community appreciates what he's done. It's something we can do to give back to Mac," Dan Barry, a family friend said.

Gina and her dad are amazed by the support they're receiving.

"It touches my heart that they care that much about him," McDowell said.

"That would mean. That would mean so much.it really would," Coach Mac said.

Coach Mac has had many visitors recently. He knows he doesn't have much time, but he's holding on for one moment to see his daughter again.

"So special if she could come home," Coach Mac said.

Coach Mac's daughter told Channel 3 she's been granted an emergency appointment to renew her passport at the U.S. embassy in Canada.

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