Human Touch Spotlight: William “Coach Mack” McNeely

By Lou Solomon

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Inspiring Us to Do Greater

There’s more than one reason his friends call him “Coach Mack.” The obvious one is that he has been coaching kids for 15 years. But there’s another reason. He inspires all of us to get in the game. He lifts your spirits. He makes you want to do and be something, someone greater.

Until 2016, William “Coach Mack” McNeely traveled through life on a trajectory of success without too much trauma. McNeely began his career at Apple, where he worked his way up from a position in customer service to a market development executive in the education sector. Interacting with the K-12 educators had a lasting impact on him.

Coach Mack left Corporate America and became a middle school teacher for four years. He taught tech skills with real life applications. An entrepreneur at heart, he also taught entrepreneurship within the middle school curriculum.

But in 2016, Coach Mack was informed that he had Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. He went from having the world by the tail to dragging oxygen tanks around with him. 

“When you’re going through challenges. You can’t look at where you are.

You must look at where you’re going. That’s why I’m still here.”

-Coach Mack

One day his doctor told him he had two weeks to “do something.” By the following Saturday he was being prepped for a double lung transplant, and in six weeks he was on his way to being whole again. 

Throughout this crisis he found himself asking “What am I being prepared for?” He went through the process of looking at the underpinning of his life. 

“One day I wrote down, ‘I commit to do something greater,’ says Coach Mack, and DoGreater.org came from that.”

Do Greater’s mission is to inspire young people to dream big and things they never imagined possible. We create programs that expose youth to viable career options and pathways through exploration, guidance and opportunities using the lens of life. It’s a creative movement with the goal of educating youth to go beyond good through learning.

Passion moves you forward;

Purpose allows you to do the impossible.

His latest project is the Do Greater Mobile Creative Tech Lab: a converted FedEx van, equipped with iPads, TVs and wireless internet access with Apple educational curriculum. 

While COVID restrictions are in place, the Tech Lab rolls up in neighborhoods like a giant hot spot to provide internet access for 100 people at a time. But as the restrictions ease, the Tech Lab will offer more access to instruction on coding, design, video, and photography. 

His best advice? Don’t wait to have a traumatic experience before you find your “Why.”  

Start looking now. Ask this:

What are the small creases of opportunity that are showing themselves now

that will propel you to make a bigger impact?

Below is the full Human Touch session with “Coach”. It is both moving, inspiring and emotional.