Coach…Father…DMAC…Husband…”that guy on the dance floor”. He’s a legend in these parts. Mr. Donnie McPhee!
AF: Donnie, just how long have you been playing in the local leagues? Since the dinosaurs?
DMAC: I actually started playing Ultimate in Fredericton before there was a league (1994). Up until this time I was big into football, but one day in the spring of 1994 a grad student at work (Andrew MacDougall) mentioned that he was looking for people to start playing this ‘cool’ sport of Ultimate. I made a deal with him that if he played on my football team I’d try this ‘cool’ Ultimate thing. He played one game of Football which happened to be my last game as my eyes were open to this whole new world of ULTIMATE. The next summer (1995) he and I along with a few others (Rex Bolden, Greg Ericson, Steve Seabrook and others) started the first ever 4 team FUL league. And look at you now!
Ultimate fever bit hard and at one time I was running the league, the competitive program ‘SPAWN’ along with running 4 tournaments Parlee Beach , UFO, FrUIT Bowl and MUC Bowl.
So, I’ve being playing Ultimate year round for almost 19 years and plan on continuing as long as a team will take me on their roster!
AF: Wow! So, outside of our leagues, what else do you do (work/community…etc)?
DMAC: Outside of being a full time dad (semi retired now that the boys have grown to manhood) I work as a field biologist in the area of conservation genetics for NRCAN. I’ve been coaching basketball for the past 22 years (YMCA, NMBA, George St., Devon, BNB) and currently coach the LHHS JV girl’s team. I’ve also remain pretty active in coaching/ advising the competitive Ultimate program (SPAWN) here in Fredericton .
AF: So, you basically never sleep! Tell us what a day in the life of DMAC is like?
DMAC: I’m one of those earlier risers, up at 5:45 am to work by 7:00am, but then back home by 3:30pm and ready to start the real day. This usually includes an hour long bike ride with my dog OKA, 2 hours of either coaching and practicing with (SPAWN), playing league ultimate, coaching basketball, going to the gym followed by hanging out with my lovely wife Loretta.
AF: Amazing. What’s your most fond memory from Ultimate over the years?
DMAC: With out a doubt it’s been to play with both my boys, Ryan and Breton (and my wife Loretta) and their friends, and watching the positive influence Ultimate has had on them. I’m so proud of my boys and I truly believe that playing Ultimate, with its sense of spirit, fairness, gender equality and community, has made all of us better people.
AF: That’s really great. Do you think you can you sum up your league experience in one word?
DMAC: No….. but I could write a very long book about it!!!!
AF: You certainly could! Thanks for taking some time out of your very busy schedule to answer some questions. Not many people in Fredericton realize just how much blood, sweat and tears you’ve put into this sport!