McDonald to be inducted into GACA Hall of Fame

Posted  5/17/18

Longtime Georgia high school baseball coach David McDonald, left, will be

inducted into the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame on June 2


McDonald to be honored by GACA

Longtime Georgia High School baseball coach David McDonald will be inducted into the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame on June 2 at the Dalton Convention Center.

McDonald will be the baseball representative and join three other inductees -- Dave Hunter (football), Charles Reid (basketball) and Marty Hutsell (wrestling).

McDonald has been a longtime ambassador for Georgia High School baseball and was inducted into the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame in 2002.

McDonald guided Wheeler from 1979 to 2010 before Cobb County budget cuts forced him into retirement. He finished with a career record of 496-322. But his resume goes beyond his 496 victories.

He led the Wildcats to the state playoffs seven times and his team's captured six region titles as Wheeler competed in the state's largest classification. But McDonald may be just as well known across the country as he is in Georgia.

McDonald was involved with USA Baseball for many seasons, serving as the Trials Coach from 1997-1999. He coached Team USA to a gold medal in 2000 in Taiwan.

He has been the President of the Georgia Dugout Club, the Georgia Clinic Director and speaker at the Atlanta Braves Fan Fest. McDonald is a charter member of the National High School Baseball Coaches Association (BCA) and was the District 3 chair on the BCA Executive Board from 1992-1997.  He was President of BCA in 2000 and has been a vital member of the All-American, Field of the Year, Coach of the Year and National Ranking Committees.

The American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) named McDonald the 2004 National Coach of the Year.

McDonald has been named the Cobb County Coach of the Year three times, a Metro Atlanta Dugout Club All-Star Coach three times, Georgia Dugout Club Coach of the Year twice and the AAU Junior Olympics Coach in 1990. McDonald was named the ABCA Ethics in Coaching Award winner in 2015.

He has coached Team Georgia in the Sunbelt Junior Classic on multiple occasions. Wheeler High named its baseball field "David McDonald Field" in 2002.

He is a member of the National High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Wheeler Athletic Hall of Fame. He was an assistant coach at Mount Paran Christian before serving as pitching coach at Lovett. But he was best known as Wheeler High School's baseball coach.

“I came to Wheeler and thought of it as my family,” McDonald told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before his last game in 2010.

“Always have. When I go home tonight and take off the uniform for the last time, I’ll look in the mirror and have to answer the question, was I successful? No performance review can answer that question. Only I can.”

He sent several players to college and a handful signed professional contracts.

McDonald graduated from St. Joseph's High School in Jackson, Miss. before playing collegiately at Mississippi State. He later served in the Vietnam War.

In March 1995, President Bill Clinton presented the Bronze Star with “V” (Valor) and the Purple Heart to McDonald at an awards ceremony in Marietta.