Mike “Mac” McEachern continues to prove why he’s a LifeChanger and a leader.
Coach Mac, as he’s known to students at Hargrave High School in Huffman, Texas, where he’s the athletic director, was the national LifeChanger of the Year grand prize winner in the 2014-15 school year.
He was recognized then for an innovative mentoring program he developed to help boys in his school who might not otherwise have role models in their lives.
Now, Coach Mac, cooperating with female coaches at Hargrave, has expanded his efforts to include girls in a program called Growing Leadership Open-minded Women, or GLOW.
Through GLOW, coaches at Hargrave bring in female leaders, such as entrepreneurs and athletes, to teach girls the skills they need to be successful.
“One of the neatest things we’ve done is that the female coaches bring in female leaders to teach girls how to be leaders and carry themselves professionally,” says Coach Mac.
GLOW follows a similar program created by Coach Mac called Becoming a Man, or BAM.
“We bring in a speaker once a month that speaks to seventh to twelfth graders on how to be a man,” says Coach Mac. “We’ve brought in ex-coaches and military leaders.”
Anywhere from 50 to 80 kids attend each meeting and free food is provided, says Coach Mac.
“You got to love kids,” says Coach Mac. “I’ve been teaching around kids for 24 years and it keeps me young. Kids are kids and you have to give them enough rope to learn and don’t give up on them.”
BAM takes students who may not have male role models in their lives and gets them involved with coaches, volunteers, and student leaders who offer advice on life and being a leader while also getting a free meal.
The prize money donated that Hargrave was awarded from LifeChanger of the Year when Coach Mac won was used to continue funding for BAM.
“It’s so surreal and it’s a crazy experience I’ll probably never have again,” says Coach Mac. “A lot of times as a coach you’re not recognized as an educator. As educators whether it’s a bus driver, custodian, coach, or teacher they interact with your kids.”
One quality that makes an educator a LifeChanger is someone who cares about kids and is honest with them, says Coach Mac.
“As a coach honesty isn’t something they want but they appreciate it. If they get a stern talking to they know it or if they need a hug they get it,” says Coach Mac. “[National Life] is recognizing a group of people who care about kids. There’s a lot more positive out there than negative.”
When Coach Mac was nominated, dozens of students and colleagues showed their support by writing comments on his online profile, such as this one:
“As a former player, I can tell you personally how Coach Mac is as a coach. He’s going to get the best out of you, he’s going to make sure you enjoy playing football, and most of all he’s going to make it where you actually want to show up to a workout/practice pumped up and glad to be there,” wrote Casey Martin. “Coach Mac has molded me into the person I am now and has truly changed my life for the better.”