The community is mourning the loss of coach and trainer Brien “Mac” McMurray, who lost his battle with Parkinson’s disease on October 31. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Jane Woodward McMurray; daughters Kathleen McMurray Dunn and Shannon Reich; and four grandchildren.
“My dad was one of the most dedicated, enthusiastic and intense people I've ever met,” Reich said in a video tribute to her father. “Whatever he did, he put 100 percent effort into. He was very passionate about his family and friends, his work, coaching, fitness, University of Maryland and all things sports related.”
Reich recalled her father’s strong work ethic and perseverance. She said that she will always remember her senior cross country season, when McMurray drove her to different cross country courses to practice before races. She is grateful to have a father who loved her so much and invested so much time into her childhood.
McMurray was a physical education teacher in Anne Arundel County for 31 years, and the weight room at Chesapeake Bay Middle School in Pasadena is named for him. His students remember him for his intensity, passion and for the Bigger Faster Stronger Club, a before-school activity that McMurray was passionate about.
McMurray was a celebrated high school lacrosse coach. He worked as the assistant coach at Broadneck High School before moving onto Chesapeake High School. In 1997, he led Chesapeake High School to the county championship. Chris Collins, who played on that winning team, also had the unique opportunity to work under McMurray for 16 years.
“Losing coach Mac was a tough one for all of us,” Collins said. “It was a really tough one for me because I looked up to him a lot. He was my mentor in so many ways.”
Collins recalled his intensity as a coach, but said McMurray was just “a guy that was trying to make us the best that he could.”
McMurray eventually ended his high school coaching career at Severna Park High School.
In his retirement from coaching and teaching, McMurray was not ready to give up on fitness. He began training at Sport Fit Severna Park and found his way to Park Fitness. There, McMurray ran Rock Steady Boxing. The non-contact training program is designed to improve balance, flexibility and inflammation in men and women suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
McMurray’s former coworker, Mandy Schultz, said she will remember McMurray as a true friend and good man.
“He wanted to help everyone, and he just valued people so much,” said Schultz. “He brought so much to this world.”
McMurray was a man of many talents and sports accolades, but he will be remembered most for his love of the University of Maryland and his character, passion, loyalty and humor.