Deb Abraham Spalding
A path that included soccer, teaching, and coaching led Kevin “Mac” McMullen to become Catoctin High School’s athletic director. His tenure will conclude on June 30, 2018, when he will formally retire from Frederick County Public Schools. Mac’s now-Assistant Athletic Director, Keith Bruck, will become Athletic Director at that time. Obviously friends, as well as co-workers and director and assistant director in ranks, the two joked that Keith will enjoy replacing the Orioles and Ravens fan gear on Mac’s office walls for his Steelers and Nationals fan gear. They also kidded about Keith’s obvious incentive for becoming Athletic Director: the dedicated bathroom adjoining Mac’s office.
All kidding aside, Mac is looking forward to retirement and professes to having plenty to do, like playing golf and being more involved with his family, as they are expecting their fourth grandchild. The McMullens have three grown children, Sarah (a kindergarten teacher) and Tony live in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania; Esther (a Lifetouch professional photographer and regional director) and Andres live outside Rochester, New York; and Patrick (plays for the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds Ultimate Frisbee team and professionally serves as a mental health counselor) lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mac’s wife, Linda, is a kindergarten teacher in Fairfield.
Mac was raised in Brooklyn Park, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County, where he graduated from Brooklyn Park High School and played soccer and basketball. He graduated from Towson State University with a degree in Physical Education and Health, and he was immediately hired by his high school basketball coach as Brooklyn Park’s boy’s soccer coach while teaching at the elementary level. He later earned his Master’s of Education Degree from Bowie State University. After four years teaching and coaching at Brooklyn Park, a brand new school, called Broadneck High, opened. Mac became one of first on the coaching staff there and ended up teaching there. He was boy’s head soccer coach and the assistant basketball coach. Mac and Linda were raising their family while living in Severna Park, Maryland.
While at Broadneck, Mac struck up a relationship with Catoctin’s boy’s soccer coach, George Kuhn. The two started the Catoctin Select Soccer Camp, with local kids and kids from Mac’s draw area in Annapolis. This camp was held at Thurmont Middle School, and participants stayed in cabins in Catoctin National Park. They ran that camp for about six years. During that time, Mac grew to like the Catoctin area and learned more about it.
He and Linda decided to move to the area when a job opening came up at Governor Thomas Johnson High School. Soon after taking that job and moving to Fairfield, Pennsylvania, there was talk about a new high school opening in Urbana. Mac went to the new Urbana High School to serve as the athletic director and be head boy’s soccer coach, beginning in 1995.
He also helped coach men’s soccer at Mount St. Mary’s University for six years, and when word spread that Tom Sherald, Catoctin’s then athletic director, was up for retirement, the timing was right to apply to, and accept, the athletic director position at Catoctin High.
Mac said, “I could not have scripted a better last chapter of my career.” He added, “Working with Bernie [Quesada, principal at CHS], we have an awesome staff here. Catoctin is very similar to Brooklyn Park. It’s like being home. I’ve been very happy with my time here and very pleased with some of the things that we’ve accomplished.”
He’s worked with his successor, Keith Bruck as his assistant for the past six years. About Keith, Mac said, “I’m very happy and proud. He’s going to do a great job.”
Ketih Bruck has been at Catoctin High for sixteen years, serving as Assistant Athletic Director for eleven years. He said, “Moving forward, we will continue to emphasize the importance of sportsmanship and the value of an education-based athletic program. We have wonderful coaches and great kids at Catoctin. No huge changes are planned now, but I am always looking to improve upon what we have going.” The first change is a Catoctin Athletics season ticket pass purchase option, via a cell phone app, that can be verified at the ticket booth. That will be available starting in July.
Keith shared that while working with Mac he developed an appreciation for handling situations in a tactful and respectful manner. Having worked with Tom Sherald as well, Keith noted that he appreciated Tom’s passion about Catoctin. He indicated that he’s learned a lot from working with both of them.
Mac shared his insight, “In athletics, you forget about specific years and seasons and final records. The most important thing is the relationships with people. I’ve made some very close friends, both on the staff and in the community.” He added, “Once a Cougar always a Cougar. I’m very vested in the athletic program at Catoctin. I’m a fan!”
Kevin “Mac” McMullen (right) will retire from Catoctin High School as Athletic Director at the end of June. Assistant Athletic Director Keith Bruck (left) will become Athletic Director at that time.