Bill Minahan was a living legend around Tampa – from his days playing college ball for the University of Tampa, to the records he set during 38 years as a high school football coach, to the impact he made every single day with his message of saving lives through organ and tissue donation.
Coach Minahan began his career coaching in 1956 with local high school football programs at Plant High and, later, Jefferson High. In 1966, the Jesuit High Tigers needed a seasoned football coach and Coach Minahan began a twenty-eight year run during which he led the Tigers to a Division 3A State Football Championship win. This feat was not repeated by a Hillsborough County School until 2003. Coaching at Jesuit brought other blessings as well – it was there the Coach met and married Martha, a math teacher, the “Voice of the Tigers” and the love of his life.
Meanwhile, Coach Minahan’s health deteriorated; his kidneys we failing. He was placed on the national waiting list for a kidney transplant and through extraordinary generosity of a donor family, Coach Minahan received his transplant in 1986, This miracle changed his life and in turn, the lives of many in the Tampa Bay area. Coach Minahan and Martha became passionate advocates for organ and tissue donation, sharing their story throughout the Tampa Bay area and across the country at speaking engagements and events. They have been profiled in Sports Illustrated. Coach Minahan also competed in the National Kidney Foundation U.S. Transplant Games, gold medaling four times in badminton. In addition, Coach Minahan has been inducted into several Halls of Fame: The University of Tampa in 1962; The Sports Club of Tampa Bay in 1992; and The Florida Athletic Coaches Association in 1996.
Way to go, Coach!