Florida coaches McCachren, Chafin pass away

By Adam Silverstein
May 14, 2013

Former Florida Gators coaches Jim McCachren (men’s basketball) and M.B. Chafin (men’s tennis) passed away this month.

McCachren, a former captain at North Carolina who went on to serve as a Naval officer in World War II, spent nearly seven decades in Gainesville, FL. He first joined the University of Florida as a physical education professor, a role he held for 50 years, but eventually linked up with the basketball program to become “Coach Mac,” an assistant basketball coach under Sam McAlister, John Mauer, Norm Sloan and Tommy Bartlett.

He served in that role for 26 seasons and never made more than $15,800 in a single year, according to The Gainesville Sun. In fact, he did not get paid at all for nearly half of that tenure. When McCachren retired from coaching, he remained a die-hard Gators fan, attending numerous events including football, basketball and baseball games. He was inducted into the UF Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.

McCachren died over the weekend at the age of 101.

Chafin started his career at Florida as an assistant coach. After 12 years working under Bill Potter, Chafin took over the men’s tennis program and led it for seven years from 1978-84. He was named SEC Coach of the Year in his final year at the helm. Chafin retired in 1984 but remained involved with the school’s athletics department.

He passed way on May 1 at the age of 79 after losing a battle with pulmonary fibrosis.

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