Robert Morris Mourns The Loss of Midge McPhail
Monday, September 28, 2015
Pittsburgh -- The Robert Morris University Department of Athletics mourns the loss of rowing head coach Midge McPhail, who passed away Saturday after a battle with lung disease caused by complications from Sjögren's Syndrome. She was 50 years old.
"Midge McPhail was an unbelievable role model for the female student-athletes that she coached during her time at Robert Morris," Craig Coleman, M.D. said. "Midge placed a high priority on teaching her student-athletes to be strong, independent women who would succeed in life. She had a tremendous impact on many of our rowing alumni as well as our current student-athletes. It serves to remind us about what is truly important about what we do, and Midge certainly needed no such reminder."
McPhail was in her 10th season as head coach of the RMU rowing team and during her tenure helped oversaw the program's transition into the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) as an associate member. Her programs not only competed annually for MAAC Championships but also finished as one of the top programs in the conference in the classroom.
Prior to Robert Morris, McPhail spent five seasons at Ohio State University as both the head women's novice coach and an assistant varsity coach. In 2006, she helped an OSU squad that claimed both the Big Ten and Central Regional championships. As head novice coach, McPhail led the Buckeyes to both regional and Big Ten championships in 2002, while Ohio State also claimed Central Regional championships under her watch in 2002 and 2004.
McPhail is survived by her husband, Jimmie, daughter Jada and sons James, Sam and Jordan.
A memorial service for McPhail will be held Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. at the Rogal Family Chapel on the Robert Morris campus.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to an Ohio Tuition Trust Authority 529 plan that has been established for Jada. This can be used wherever she may choose to attend college. Please make checks payable to "Ohio Tuition Trust Authority" and leave the memo field blank so that an account number can be added. Checks can be mailed to the following address …
RMU Women's Rowing
7600 Grand Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15225
ABOUT ROBERT MORRIS UNIVERSITY
Through 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate degree programs across five academic schools, Robert Morris University (RMU) in Pittsburgh, Pa., works to change its students' lives so that they can go out and change the lives of others for the better. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate, nontraditional and online students from 47 states and 39 nations are enrolled at RMU, which sits on 230 scenic acres just 20 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. Emphasizing experiential learning, Robert Morris focuses on professional development, service learning, global awareness, undergraduate research, campus leadership, and cultural experiences, all of which are documented on our innovative Student Engagement Transcript. More than 100 clubs and organizations help students to develop leadership skills, network professionally, and meet friends. RMU also has 16 NCAA Division I athletic programs, including football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s ice hockey, and men's and women's lacrosse.