Former Texas Tech Head Coach Jim McNally Dies at 91

Former Texas Tech University head coach Jim McNally died last week at the age of 91.

McNally, raised in Austin, Minnesota, earned a degree in physical education from the University of Oklahoma in 1952 before arriving in Lubbock, where he enrolled in a master’s degree program in physical education. In that same year, he was hired by the Lubbock Boys Club as their swim director and began working with then-coach Dr. Ray Kireilis, the coach of the men’s swim team.

McNally took over as head coach in 1959, where he remained until 1979, and also worked as an associate professor until retiring in 1989. The men’s swimming & diving program was eliminated in 1986, but not until earning 4 All-American honors.

McNally’s archives and a history of results can be found via the University of Texas library, here.

McNally was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor and in 2016 was also named to the Texas Swimming & Diving Hall of Fame in 2016, winning a Lifetime Achievement award.

Former TCU head coach Richard Sybesma, who swam for McNally at Texas Tech, remembered his coach as a loyal Red Raider supporter and a tireless worker.

“He wore many hats during his coaching career…Coach, Mentor, Teacher, Husband, Father, Red Raider, and Friend,” Sybesma said. “He had 10 children at home and came to work every morning to run the college practice at 6 AM. He never complained about his hours or pay. He essentially worked four jobs College Swim coach, College professor, College diving coach, and age group coach. He worked 14 + hours a day and was a good coach and better person.

“Red and Black ran through his veins. He influenced thousands of people and will be remembered for making a difference at Texas Tech and in Lubbock. Thank you Coach.”


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2 years ago

All his contributions to the sport, yet Texas Tech no longer has a men’s program.

2 years ago

Having researched Coach McNally’s collection for SWC swimming records, it’s located at Texas Tech’s Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, not the University of Texas at Austin.

The website you linked to is the Texas Archival Resources Online, a state-wide directory of archives and collections.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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