Longtime Highland Home School coach McVay dies

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

&#8220He did so much more than was ever asked of him; he'll never be replaced.”

Those are the sentiments of Randy Wilkes, Coordinator for Special Education of Crenshaw County Public Schools, about Mr. Ronald McVay, who was a longtime coach and educator at Highland Home High School.

Mr. McVay, 55, passed away Tuesday, May 30.

&#8220He was the type of person who would do anything you asked of him and never complain,” Wilkes said. &#8220He was the epitome of Highland Home School.”

McVay graduated from Troy University in 1973 with a Bachelor's degree in social sciences and history. He began teaching at Highland Home School in 1974 and had been there ever since.

His wife, Susan, has been a secretary at the school since 1987. Both of the couple's children, Amanda and Paige, graduated from Highland Home School.

Paige McVay is presently employed with the Crenshaw County Board of Education Maintenance Department.

&#8220Ronnie McVay had taught at that school for 32 years and was not looking to retire,” Wanda Williams, Human Resources Director for Crenshaw County Schools, said. &#8220He totally loved it.”

Williams said that McVay's sister, Wanda Pouncey, has been teaching at HHS for 28 years. She is the girls' softball coach.

&#8220He was a big advocate for the kids,” Williams said. &#8220When Highland Home School's doors were open, he was there.”

Coach McVay had been the Athletic Director at HHS for the last 10 years.

Head football coach Bob Farrior said that he had worked and coached with McVay for the last 20 years at Highland Home.

&#8220He coached the linebackers on defense and the split ends on offense,” Farrior said. &#8220He was a multi-purpose man who could do anything around the school that needed to be done; he was a plumber, a doctor, a technician, whatever was needed.”

Farrior said that, on a personal level, he valued Coach McVay for &#8220his morality, his Christian beliefs, and for the way he was so family-oriented.”

&#8220I really admired how he looked after his family,” he said. &#8220I don't think anyone will truly realize just how many people Coach McVay has helped along the way, from family members to students.”

Wilkes agreed that Coach McVay did many jobs that &#8220people didn't even notice.”

&#8220On Friday nights, the kids would have their ankles already wrappedŠyou just never had to worry about things like that getting done with him around,” Wilkes said.

&#8220He was also instrumental in seeing about the irrigation system on the baseball and softball fields and in being involved in the renovations of the football press box,” Wilkes said.

Kathi Wallace, Superintendent of Crenshaw County Schools, said that it was going to be hard to think of Highland Home School without Coach McVay.

&#8220I've known him for over 25 years,” Wallace said. &#8220He was a unique individual who could do anything. He could build anything. If the copy machine broke down, we would go to Coach McVay to repair itŠhe could fix anything.”

Wallace said that McVay's death was a &#8220great loss for not only his family, but for the school and the community.”

Highland Home School Principal Joe Eiland said that he had known McVay for 18 years.

&#8220Since he had been at this school for 32 years, there wasn't much he couldn't do or didn't know about,” Eiland said. &#8220He really helped me make it through my first year as principal hereŠ.he was not just my athletic director and senior class sponsor and teacher, he was my steadfastness. He was a wonderful human being.”

Funeral services for Mr. McVay will be held at 10 a.m. today at the Sardis Church of Christ. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.