Charles McGuckin, a former South Huntington and Dix Hills football and baseball coach who once played outfield in the Chicago Cubs organization and later was a scout for the New York Jets, has died. He was 84.
McGuckin, who died Jan. 15 at Brandywine, a hospice care facility in Melville, had suffered from health issues including heart complications and skin cancer, family members said.
McGuckin played sports throughout his adolescent years, following in the footsteps of his father, and graduated from Chaminade High School in Mineola in 1950, said his daughter Mary McGuckin, 54, of Centerport.
Charles McGuckin attended Villanova University on a baseball scholarship, and played basketball there.
During his senior year, he was volunteer team manager of the football team when the starting quarterback was injured. Because of his playmaking ability, McGuckin was asked to suit up as starting quarterback. He led the team to many victories, family members said.
“Apparently, he already knew all the plays,” said his son, Charles McGuckin, 52, of East Northport. He added that his father played quarterback in high school.
After graduation, the older McGuckin spent two years as a minor-league outfielder with the Chicago Cubs. He then returned to Chaminade to teach and coach football and baseball.
Later, he became athletic director and football coach at Holy Family High School (now St. Anthony’s High School) in South Huntington. After several years there, he took a similar position at Half Hollow Hills High School in Dix Hills, family members said. He then became a scout for the New York Jets, his family said.
“This was his last job,” his son said.
The coach believed several life lessons could be learned through football and that if someone worked hard and applied themselves, they could accomplish great things, his family said.
Charles McGuckin was married to his wife, Maggie, for 62 years, relatives said. She lives at Brandywine.
McGuckin also is survived by children Leslie Moller,of upstate Saratoga Springs, Michael McGuckin, of Oyster Bay, and Chris McGuckin, of Pittsburgh.
A funeral Mass was held at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Roman Catholic Church in Centerport. McGuckin was cremated.