MERIDIAN — Mike McCrady, a revered high school teacher and coach in Meridian, died Wednesday due to complications from COVID-19. He was 45.
McCrady taught history in the West Ada School District for more than two decades, according to an online biography. Since 1995, he coached football, baseball, lacrosse and golf at Centennial, Mountain View and Rocky Mountain high schools. Between 2013 and 2019, McCrady led Rocky Mountain’s boy’s golf team to four state titles and the girl’s team to two.
Most recently, McCrady was the girl’s lacrosse coach at Rocky Mountain.
According to Facebook posts by McCrady’s wife, Angie McCrady, in early August he was hospitalized with pneumonia caused by COVID-19 and placed on a ventilator. After kidney failure, he underwent dialysis and later had a tracheotomy. On Wednesday, Angie McCrady posted that her husband “is with Jesus.”
Former student Jake Chandler, 38, said McCrady was a “salt-of-the-earth kind of person that would do anything for anybody, who cared for his students like they were his own.” McCrady was also an “unbelievable” coach and mentor, who inspired Chandler to become an educator himself. Chandler teaches history at Meridian Academy and is an assistant baseball coach at Rocky Mountain.
“Without his presence and his knowledge and his passion, there’s no way I would be coaching for the last 15 years of my life,” Chandler said.
Chandler first met McCrady in 1999, when McCrady coached football and baseball at Centennial. McCrady was also Chandler’s U.S. history teacher.
“He cared,” Chandler said. “You knew as a player that he loved you and he was doing everything for you … He taught me what it was like to really connect with kids outside of the classroom, to give them a skill to be successful … I remember the moments that he gave us, the experiences and the one-line adage(s) to help us feel inspired.”
BanBury Golf Course in Eagle posted on Facebook Wednesday, “The world lost a great man today … Mike McCrady touched the lives of thousands of high schoolers and junior golfers. He will be missed. We pray for his young family.”
According to a web page for McCrady on Caring Bridge, a social media site for people facing medical conditions, McCrady is survived by his wife and two daughters, Raegan and Kyra. For information on how to donate to the family, visit caringbridge.org/visit/mccradyfamily.