Coach Greg McCrary/photo by AJC
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
A great friend of the MACE Family, Greg McCrary, passed away today, Tuesday, April 9, 2013. He suffered a cardiac arrest on Saturday and was on life support and in grave condition. He fought the good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith. His brother, Dr. Phil McCrary, stated that “he is in a better place now.”
Greg was an outstanding football player, playing several years in the NFL, including playing tight end for the Atlanta Falcons. But, more than this is the fact that he was an outstanding person. I first met Greg many years ago when he walked into our office at the Metro Association of Classroom Educators (MACE) to join the union. Greg always had a smile on his face and was a great friend for anyone to have. I don’t know anyone who did not like Greg McCrary.
Greg’s brother, Dr. Phil McCrary, was also a MACE member for many, many years while coaching at Columbia High, but he is now Coordinator of all athletics in the DeKalb County School System and had to give up his MACE membership when taking this position. (MACE represents classroom educators.) But, Phil wanted to stay on as a member. We recently laughed about this on the telephone. He is a good friend of Dr. Jose Helena, one of MACE’s very loyal members in Gwinnett County. The three of us were on the phone together back in December.
Greg’s sister also joined MACE several years back. (I am quite confident that she would not mind me sharing this.) Education runs in the McCrary Family. I just know that the McCrary Family of Griffin, Georgia is a class family! I think the world of this family!
Athleticism and athletics also run in the McCrary Family. Greg’s son, Johnathon, was one of the AJC’s Super Eleven in football this year. He was highly recruited by major colleges throughout the country, including UGA, Alabama, Georgia Tech, and Ohio State. Johnathon shocked the recruiting world by signing on with with Vanderbilt University where the football program is on an upswing, and Johnathon knows that he can get a top-notch education. (This mature decision-making is a testament to Greg McCrary as a father.) Greg himself not only played for the Atlanta Falcons, but he also played for the Washington Redskins and the San Diego Chargers. Dr. Phil McCrary (doctorate in Math) was inducted into the Atlanta Athletic Hall of Fame last year and introduced by legendary Southwest DeKalb High School football coach, Buck Godfrey. Dr. Phil’s Columbia High School basketball teams won 546 games under his tutelage and appeared in eight State Finals and won five State Championships.