A Giant Promise Has A Fan In New England
Dec 17, 2015Posted by james

Pat McGillis lives deep in New England Patriot territory in Brockton, Massachusetts. But, she roots for Tom Coughlin and the New York Giants.

When Jay McGillis, Pat’s son, was diagnosed with leukemia, he was on Coughlin’s Boston College team. She said Coach Coughlin’s love and compassion were endless. Tears pour from her eyes when she recalls that her son had such an impact on his coach.

Jay was a strapping strong-side safety at BC during the early 1990s. He had impressed the coach with his work ethic and intense play. During Coughlin’s first year at the school, the sophomore became ill as the team played against Syracuse University. Jay’s glands were swollen and the original thought was that the young man had contracted mononucleosis.

Soon after, the diagnosis was cancer. Jay died at home eight months later. He was just 22.

Coach Coughlin and his wife were touched by the response of family, friends and teammates, and they vowed that if they ever had a chance to give back that it would be in the spirit and in the name of Jay McGillis.

Coughlin kept his word. While in Florida as the first head coach of the NFL expansion Jacksonville Jaguars, Coughlin established the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation. The foundation started with a golf tournament that raised $36,000.

Today, the foundation serves families in Jacksonville and in the New York metropolitan area, offering financial, emotional and practical support services for those diagnosed with leukemia. This past October, the fund’s 11th annual children’s gala raised $1.5 million.

A recent newspaper interview summed up Coach Coughlin’s work in the eyes of his biggest fan in New England.

“It’s just heartwarming,” said Pat McGilllis. “I’ve seen him visiting these children…and his love and his compassion [are evident]. What Tom Coughlin has done to keep Jay’s spirit alive is overwhelming.”


No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment