Dansville mourning loss of 'difference-making' coach

Dansville mourning loss of 'difference-making' coach

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Dansville mourning loss of 'difference-making' coach

Dansville coach Greg Mack, right, with his wife Julie. Greg Mack died late Wednesday night at age 47.

Dansville coach Greg Mack, right, with his wife Julie. Greg Mack died late Wednesday night at age 47.

On one of her first days on the job as Dansville’s athletic director, Julie Odom was approached by Greg Mack with ideas he had for the school’s weight room and more.

Mack was that passionate about Dansville athletics and improving the lives of kids in the community, she said.

Now the Dansville community is hoping to make sure the legacy of Mack lives on. The longtime coach died late Wednesday night. He was 47.

“He was just so passionate about taking Dansville athletics to the next level and helping these kids reach their goals,” Odom said. “He had a master plan and he was willing to come in late and come work out with these kids at any time day or night. He just really wanted what was best for them. He was so caring and willing to do whatever it took to help these kids out. He’s a great role model and coach.

“It’s just a huge loss for us.”

Mack coached junior varsity football last fall at Dansville and has served as a varsity assistant. He also was an integral part of the school’s wrestling program. Odom said Mack’s involvement in Aggie athletics was deep and stretched from its youth programs to the junior varsity and varsity levels.

Dansville Superintendent Amy Hodgson said Mack has “just been a difference maker” in the community and credits him as the main reason the school’s new building will feature a wrestling room.

“It’s really hard to even begin to quantify the impact that he’s had,” Hodgson said. “We’ve been able to see a lot of it over these past few days. I bet we have 50 young men who would say he’s been like a second father to them.

“So many troubled kids who he particularly would take under his wings and do things that really nobody else really knew he was doing – he was always reaching out and giving rides and getting after kids to stay in sports and participate. It’s really unbelievable the impact that he’s had.”

Mack, who is survived by his wife Julie and three kids, will be honored during tonight’s home boys basketball games. Admission to the games will be free and the school is taking donations for the Mack family. Dansville is also asking people attending tonight’s games to wear red to honor Mack’s love of Ohio State.

Contact Brian Calloway at bcalloway@lsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.

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