The first days of the high school football practice season have again provided grim reminders of the dangers posed by heat - and not just for student-athletes.
On Tuesday, the medical examiner in Collin County, Texas, determined that Plano Prestonwood assistant coach Wade McLain died from a combination of heat exposure and heart disease after he collapsed during a practice break Monday. CPR and an automated external defibrillator failed to revive the 55-year-old McLain on a day temperatures approached 100 degrees.
"I was out there on the field with the coaches and team for a while yesterday and Coach McLain was very active and being himself, having a good time coaching," Prestonwood Baptist Church pastor Jack Graham told KDAF-TV in a prepared statement. "They had been stopping regularly for water and air-conditioning breaks, and during one break he became ill and collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital, where he passed away. We all realize life is a gift and this is one of those times when someone left unexpectedly."
A high temperature of 108 is forecast today in parts of Texas. Many schools in the state have begun the first of two-a-day workouts as early as 7 a.m., with the second starting at 6 p.m., to avoid the worst of the heat.
"At 11 a.m. it starts getting ridiculously hot," Kerens High School coach Russell Anderson told the Corsicana Daily Sun. "The biggest part as a coach is you're busy coaching, and then when you get a drink, you're thinking about making sure the kids are getting hydrated and you don't think about yourself."
Anderson added that the Bobcats used 100 gallons of water and ice for the coaching staff and 47 players for Tuesday's two-a-day practices alone. He told the Daily Sun that his own heat-acclimation efforts included doing yard work in the runup to football practice season.
For tips on acclimating to high temperatures in the sports practice setting, click here.