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Lawrence McGinnis

Lawrence McGinnis
Hometown (Last School)
Lexington, KY (Senior)
1927-28, 1928-29, 1929-30
May 8, 1907

Obituary – FORMER UK PLAYER LAWRENCE MCGINNIS, IS DEAD AT AGE 79 , Lexington Herald-Leader (February 7, 1987) by Jennifer Hewlett

Lawrence L. McGinnis, a former University of Kentucky basketball and football player who went on to have a long and successful career as a high school basketball coach, died Thursday at Mercy Hospital in Owensboro. The Lexington native was 79.

Known as “Coach Mac” to the youths he led, he coached basketball at Hartford, Daviess County and Owensboro high schools from 1933 to about 1957. His teams won 467 games, and he is thought to have ranked 26th in wins among Kentucky high school basketball coaches. McGinnis, a member of Kentucky’s Sweet Sixteen Hall of Fame who took several high school teams to the annual state boys’ basketball tournament, coached the Owensboro High School team to a state championship in 1949. UK athletic director Cliff Hagan was a member of that team.

McGinnis also taught business courses at the three high schools where he worked and had helped to coach football and baseball at Owensboro High School. He retired from Owensboro High School in 1975 as assistant principal and athletic director.

He lettered in basketball at UK in 1928, 1929 and 1930. He was a guard, and was team captain in 1929. His brother, W. Louis McGinnis, played basketball with him for a time at UK. Lawrence McGinnis and W. Louis McGinnis were known as “Big McGinnis” and “Little McGinnis,” respectively, when they played for UK.

“We played together throughout our careers at Kentucky, and Lawrence was a very fine friend of mine, and maybe, I think, distantly related to me,” former UK basketball player Paul McBrayer of Lexington said.

“He was a very fine player — very loyal to his coach and his team,” McBrayer said. “. . . He was not a great scorer. We played different basketball in those days from the one-on-one you see today. It was a team effort.”

McGinnis lettered in football at UK in 1930.

He was a graduate of the old Lexington High School and received a business degree from UK.

In addition to his brother, who lives in Lexington, he is survived by his wife, Helen Woolum McGinnis; a daughter, Carol Worth of Owensboro; and a grandchild.

Services will be at 1:30 p.m. CST Monday at St. Stephen Cathedral in Owensboro. Visitation will be from noon to 8 p.m. CST Sunday at James H. Davis Funeral Home in Owensboro.

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