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LINCOLN -- Gene Robert McDonald, 80, of
Lincoln, died Sunday, April 17, 2011, at 5:40 a.m. at Abraham
Lincoln Memorial Hospital.
Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Wednesday at Fricke-Calvert-Schrader
Funeral Home in Lincoln. His funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday
at the funeral home.
Burial will be in New Union Cemetery.
Mr. McDonald was a teacher, football coach and athletic
director at Lincoln Community High School for many
He served in the U.S. Navy.
He was born on Dec. 12, 1930, in West Frankfort.
His parents were Leo and Golda Hamilton McDonald. He
married Billie Jean "Toni" Thompson on Aug. 11,
1957, in Camden, Tenn.
He is survived by his wife; two sons, Rob (and
Fawn) McDonald of Murray, Ky., and Andy (and Lisa)
McDonald of Lincoln; and five grandchildren, Amanda,
Grant, Rachel, Annalise and Logan.
He was a member of Lincoln Christian Church,
Illinois High School Athletic Directors Association
and Illinois High School Football Coaches
He graduated from West Frankfort High School in
1948 and from Murray State University in 1952. He
played on three Ohio Valley Conference champion
football teams, being quarterback and team captain
his senior season.
He served 40 months in the U.S. Navy, attaining
the rank of lieutenant. He was a physical training
instructor at U.S. Naval Pre-Flight School at
In 1956-57 he served as graduate assistant coach
in the University of Illinois football program.
He joined the Lincoln Community High School faculty
as physical education teacher and assistant football
coach for the 1957-58 school year. In 20 years as
Lincoln’s head football coach, he compiled an 88-84
record. The 1973 and 1975 teams were Big 12
Conference champions, with the 1975 team going
undefeated in the regular season, then losing 8-7 to
Griffin in the playoffs.
He also assumed duties as LCHS athletic director
for 23 years, during which girls’ sports were
introduced under the federal Title IX law.
He was inducted into the Illinois High School
Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame on April
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the
weight room fund at Lincoln Community High School.
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