Plano coach's death blamed on heat, heart problems

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by JONATHAN BETZ and CYNTHIA VEGA

WFAA

Posted on August 1, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 2 at 5:32 PM

PLANO — Heat is getting the blame for the death of a popular high school football coach who collapsed during the team's practice on Monday.

The Collin County Medical Examiner's office ruled that the extreme heat — combined with an underlying heart disease — killed Wade McLain, 55, on Monday evening.

Prestonwood Christian Academy decided to cancel practices Tuesday. Coaches will instead meet with players and help them grieve.

McLain collapsed after walking off the field following Monday's practice, which was the first for the varsity team. The heat index Monday soared above 100 degrees.

He leaves behind a wife and five children.

Football practice at Prestonwood Christian Academy was canceled Tuesday after his sudden death. As of noon, there was no word on the official cause of death.

His fellow coach and long-time friend, Jim Strother, told News 8 that McLain was leaving the field for the second official break after about two hours on the field from 4p.m. to 6 p.m. Strother said team trainers stepped in instantly, but Strother said there was nothing anyone could do.

McLain served as assistant defensive coordinator for the high school varsity team at Prestonwood Christian Academy for years. He was also the assistant baseball coach and a member of the staff since 2000. Most recently, he taught history and social studies.

McLain was also a member of the Prestonwood Baptist Church, where he has also been a long-time member.

Dr. Jack Graham, the pastor, said McLain never had a bad day.

McLain leaves behind his wife Becky and five children. His youngest son, Christian, is a senior at Prestonwood Christian Academy.

Tuesday at the family home in The Colony, Rodney McLain, Wade's son, told News 8 they are saddened by their loss, but were blessed to have had a dad who raised them right.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Coach McLain yet are thankful in knowing he is in the presence of Jesus. We will keep you notified of all arrangements and how to reach out to the family during this time," said a statement posted on PCA's Facebook page.

Student athletes and coaches met at the school's field house Monday night for prayers.

Prestonwood Christian Academy is a part of Prestonwood Baptist Church.

Funeral arrangements are being made.

E-mail  cvega@wfaa.com

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