Joliet Central Legend Inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame
October 24, 2017 12:03 PM
By: Joliet Central High School student Griselda Chavez
On October 22, 2017 Eural “Mac” McLaughlin received the Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award and was inducted into the Illinois Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. To say Coach Mac had a pretty impressive wrestling and coaching career is an understatement. Even though Coach Mac has been described as one of Joliet Central’s best coaches in the history of the school; he was not just a coach, but a motivating teacher of life lessons that taught students and athletes how to be their best.
McLaughlin earned the name “Coach Mac” when he began his teaching and coaching career at Joliet Central in 1966. As head wrestling coach for Joliet Central from 1970 to 2010, he was inducted into the IWCOA Hall of Fame. During his coaching career, a few of McLaughlin’s accomplishments include over 500 dual meet wins, seven individual state championships, six conference championships, and a dual team state championship in 1985, which was described as Joliet’s best year for high school wrestling.
Upon being honored with the Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award Mac felt “as a coach, it doesn’t get better than this...it is the highest honor of my accomplishments and it is like the Academy Award of coaches,” and mentioned the morals he has instilled in his athletes along the way, including treating every athlete like a state champion even if they did not become one and reminding them of his motto “look listen and learn.”
Mac also mentioned his favorite memory as a coach, the final match of the state tournament in 1985. He remembers the boys jumping up and down with excitement. “I had to stay in the halls guarding the doors and I remember the parents and superintendent telling me to bring the boys home safely,” said McLaughlin.
Mac’s love for Joliet Central continues on to this day as he is still an everyday employee and inspirational mentor to current students at Joliet Central.