Richard Allen McKray "Coach," passed away on March 12, 2014, at 76 years of age, after a courageous battle with cancer. Born in 1937 in Redding, CA, he spent his elementary and high school years playing and excelling in sports. Richard was a three- sport star at Anderson High School, tennis, baseball, and basketball. He enlisted in the Air Force and played on the Air Force Team, and then moved on to play four seasons in the Baltimore Orioles organization.
Rich returned to the Redding area and attended Shasta Junior College, transferred on to California State University, Chico, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physical Education and his California Teaching Credential. He moved to Sutter County in 1970 and began his first, official teaching and coaching position at Wheatland High School, where he also served as Athletic Director. From Wheatland High School, he accepted a position in Yuba City Unified School District, first at Gray Avenue School, followed by Yuba City High School. His coaching never ceased. He settled in as head coach of the YCHS girls' basketball and softball programs. In ten years of coaching girls' softball, he led the Yuba City High Honkers to nine Delta League championships, and in girls' basketball, five league banners. Rich retired in 1999 after nearly 30 years of teaching and over 40 years of coaching. He was inducted in the Anderson Basketball Legends, honored as the Athlete of the 1950's Decade in 2012, and the Northern California Sports Association Hall of Fame in 2013.
Richard is survived by his wife of 28 years, Louise McKray of Yuba City; four daughters: Janet McKray of Yuba City, Krista Sullivan (Mike) of Lone Pine, April Dale (Larry) of Nicolaus, Bonnie Bishop of Yuba City; nine grandchildren, four great grandchildren; and his sister, Janice Wagner of Redding.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Julie McKray; his mother, Jewel Rae McKray, and father, Donald Frank McKray.
Coach McKray loved the game of golf. He was an avid golfer for over forty years, and it kept him actively engaged in his retirement. He spent most of his retirement years at Peach Tree Golf and Country Club and in the Monterey Bay playing golf with family and friends. He will be remembered by his friends for his quick wit and love of golf.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, March 18, at the Chapel of the Twin Cities, 715 Shasta Street, Yuba City, CA 95991.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the YCHS Honkers Golf Program, 850 B Street, Yuba City, CA, 95991, in care of Kent Myers, Golf Coach.
Send Condolences to
Chapel of the Twin Cities
715 Shasta Yuba City, CA 95991
Published in Appeal Democrat from Mar. 15 to Mar. 16, 2014