Mar 8 / Rob

JMU Loses a Legend

Sad news for the JMU family today. Former JMU Football Coach and Dr. Challace McMillin passed away suddenly at the age of 77. McMillin was the guy Uncle Ron called upon to lead the upstart JMU football program all the way back in 1972. He went from literally recruiting students from class registration lines to join the team, to leading the Dukes to the only undefeated season in program history just three years later. He served as head coach from 1972 to 1984, helping transition the school from non-scholarship football, to DIII power, to the 1-AA program that laid the groundwork for the success we all know today.

McMillin retired from coaching in 1984 with a record of 67-60-2. He was just getting started however. He went on to serve as a kinesiology and sports psychology professor, a position in which he impacted countless students. All too often we look at wins and losses as the sole measure of success for coaches. McMillin was successful using that yardstick, but going solely off his football accomplishments would be selling him short. He was a fixture on campus and around the program long after his time as coach ended. If the measure of a man is the number of lives he impacts, then McMillin lived an extraordinary life. The mere fact that players, students, an alums spanning 40+ years have taken to social media to express how devastated they are over his passing and how grateful they are for the way he impacted their lives, shows you what type of man he was. Rest easy coach.

Leave a Comment