William “Bill” Mack passed away Saturday, May 18th at 7 pm with his family close by.
Bill was born in Jefferson City, Missouri and would have been 83 years old on August 27 of this year. He was preceded in death by his parents Sydney and Gertrude (Walls) Mack.
Bill was a graduate of Crystal Lake Community High School in 1954; he graduated from Beloit College in 1958 and earned his master’s degree from Northern Illinois University in 1965. He pursued his lifelong love of football and got his first coaching job in 1960 at Winola High School in Viola, Illinois. After three years in Viola, he was hired to coach and teach History in District 155. He first worked at Cary-Grove High School, but moved to Crystal Lake Central where he worked until 1993. While at Central his teaching duties changed and he became head of the work program where he used his abilities to connect with young people to help many kids stay in school. He was as proud of his CWT kids as the athletes he coached.
During his tenure in 155 the “Coach” won over 100 games. He was the youngest coach to be inducted into the IHSFCA Hall of Fame in 1987. His prowess as a player earned him induction into the Beloit College Hall of Honor in 1993. After Central, Coach went on to work at numerous schools before accepting the head position and coaching five years at North Central College in Naperville. His final coaching position brought him to Prairie Ridge High School where he considered himself lucky to be able to coach his grandsons Will and Ben.
Coach loved being around young people and was known as a great motivator. Many of his proteges kept in close touch with him over the years and he enjoyed spending time with each former student and athlete. Forever the Coach, he mentored many people well into their adult years. He spent many hours on the phone with anyone who wanted to share and hear ideas about football and life. He was an avid reader of books about football, but also anything related to history, much of it about World War II.
He was beyond proud of his family. He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years Cheryl (Schmidt) and his children Bill (Elizabeth) of Crystal Lake, Andrew (Melissa) of Tower Lakes, and Beth (John) Ladd of Alexandria, VA. He is also survived by his siblings Bob (Marilyn) Mack of North Aurora and Sydnee Ann (Terry) Miller of Gilbert, AZ as well as several loving nieces and nephews.
While he was known as a “Guru of the Triple Option” by many coaches and players, his role as grandfather of eleven grandchildren was his favorite. He will be forever loved and missed by Maggie, Will, Megan, Grace, Jack, Kaitlyn, Ben, Sam, Charlie, Ethan, and Richie.
Visitation will be held Friday, May 24, from 3-8 p.m. at Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory, 419 E Terra Cotta Ave. (Rt. 176) Crystal Lake. The funeral service will be held the following day, Saturday, May 25 at 11:00 a.m. with visiting beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be held privately.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to The Paul Natsch Fund at Home State Bank, 40 Grant St. Crystal Lake, IL 60014.
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