Neil McCarthy
1939 - 2021
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.
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12 Entries
Just playing against his teams that was great and enough. Beat me their. Hope they have a court open and we can get after again.
Bus Connor. BB coach BSU
September 28, 2021
Sending my condolences to the McCarthy family. I had the pleasure of playing High School Basketball with his son Aaron and Coach was always supportive to our program. He was a good man. Aaron hang tough my Brother. My prayers are with you and your family.
Kevin Green
September 27, 2021
Dear Vibian, so sorry for your lost. Neil was the greatest and was a friend at Washington Heights Church in Ogden. In 1975 you and I doubled dated with Dr. Bruce White. I was a pill then so I hope you don't remember . You were so gracious and delightful. I wish you the best. Alan Abdulla 8013915022
Alan Abdulla, MD
September 22, 2021
Neil was always bigger than life to me.....amazing coach, good looking, famous and he was kind. He always called Vivi his little dove. We'll ALL miss you, Neil! May the Lord bless and comfort my beautiful, caring, Wonderful big sis, Vivi! Everyone should have a sister like her! .
Ginny.... Vivis little sis
September 21, 2021
Much sympathy to u Vivian and both families/ many happy memories of Neil during the years he was in good health / he was a good friend to me and my family / We have many fond memories of Neil / love to u and all ur good friend Judy
Judith Wolfe
September 21, 2021
I'm saddened to hear about Neil's passing. I spoke with him only a handful of times in the late 70's early 80's. He was always so kind and very upbeat when we spoke. Many over the years spoke of Coach McCarthy with great respect and adoration. I know he will be missed by so many. My deepest condolences to his family and his sweet Vivian. Soar high with the angels who have been waiting for you Neil. R.I.P.
Jodi Jensen
September 21, 2021
Vivian, our deepest sympathies. From our family to yours. Dan James.
Dan James
September 20, 2021
So sorry Viv always hard to lose a loved one. You have our heart sympathy.
Carlene Williams, Jay Williams
September 20, 2021
Deepest heartfelt condolences.
Rod Zimbelman
September 20, 2021
Loved going to school at Weber State, learning Basketball from the classes he taught, and playing pick up games at the old gym. Always loved his big men, he'll be missed
Craig Cosper
September 20, 2021
So sorry for your loss Vivian--and the family's loss.. You will be in our thoughts! We can never give Neil enough credit for his leadership of the NMSU basketball program.. We miss him and greatly admire him..
Charlie Rogers
September 20, 2021
Please accept our deepest sympathy for the passing of a great coach. He will always be remembered as a great Aggie coach. We loved him.
Robert A Martinez
September 20, 2021
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