Neil Nicholas McCarthy
1939 - 2021
Salt Lake City, UT—Neil Nicholas McCarthy passed away peacefully on September 18, 2021, in Salt Lake City, Utah of natural causes. Neil was born May 18, 1939, in San Francisco, California to Mary and Nicholas Carter. After his mother remarried he was adopted by his stepfather Frank McCarthy. Neil was married to Lynda Stilts until her passing in 1977; they had three children. Neil married Vivian Call Bamberger in 1980. Neil described himself as "the Big Dog" and was proud of his title as an Army boxing champion, but the game of basketball was Neil's passion and he dedicated his life to playing and coaching the sport. He earned his bachelor's degree from Sacramento State University in 1965 as a student-athlete, and later went on to earn a master's degree, with a thesis focused on the art of free-throw shooting. Neil began his coaching career at St Patrick - St Vincent High School in Vallejo, California. He was hired at Weber State University as head coach (1974-1985) before becoming the head coach of New Mexico State University (1985 1997). Neil was inducted into the Weber State University Hall of Fame (2000), the Vallejo Sports Hall of Fame (2008), the Sacramento State University Coaches Circle Hall of Fame (2012), and the New Mexico State Hall of Fame (2021). Neil was a strong influence on and off the court for his players and they had great respect for his coaching ability. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Lynda Stilts McCarthy, grand daughter Lynda Kiona McCarthy, sister Debbie McCarthy and his four-legged companion Parker. Survived by his wife Vivian Call Bamberger McCarthy, his three children; Lisa Rygen, Aaron "P" McCarthy (Michaela), Neil Christopher McCarthy (Heather); 10 grandchildren, Jennifer, Jordan, Emily, Molly, Natasha, Eliza, Ian, Koren, Kaylen, Skylan; Neil's loving sisters, Vivian's children, grandchildren and long time friend Al Manfredi. Neil will be remembered for his love of animals, basketball, TV, travel and his piles of unopened Christmas and birthday gifts. The family would like to thank the staff at Cascade Rehabilitation Center for their gentle care. Funeral services pending due to Covid.
Published by The Salt Lake Tribune from Sep. 19 to Sep. 28, 2021.