Local Razorbacks speak at John McDonnell’s funeral


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – A funeral was held this morning for beloved Razorback Track coach, John McDonnell, who died on June 7th. 

John McDonnell died at the age of 82 and it brought Razorbacks from all different corners to celebrate the life of this historic track coach. One of those in attendance, long-time friend and hall of fame coach Nolan Richardson.

“He’s a guy who you would say could have coached anything and would have won national championships. He was the ultimate coach,” said Richardson.

During McDonnell’s 30 year career, he brought home 40 national championships and 83 conference championships making him the most successful coach in NCAA history. 

A legacy that will live on in the record books and in the hearts of those who worked closest to him. 

“This is a great moment. People think it’s sad, I think it’s wonderful. it is a celebration of a great life; he couldn’t have done any more if he wanted to. Everything he did was a success and he took all of us along with him,” said Dick Booth, previous assistant coach of the track team.   

“Coach, we love you. We know you’re on your way to heaven. Rest in peace and all that you’ve done for us athletes and people, your legacy will still carry on,” said track athlete from back in 95’, Brandon Rock. 

In a statement from McDonnell’s family, it said, “we want everyone to know how thankful he was for the support, love, friendship, and depth of opportunities he received throughout the years. While the world has lost an extraordinary man, we not only mourn his loss, but wholeheartedly celebrate that God allowed people around the world to be touched and impacted by his gifts of faith, love, and inspiration.”

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