Alumni Appreciation Night, February 2014.
Bill McKane and Mechele Hebberd Collins were recently inducted into Southern Utah University’s Coaching Factory Hall of Fame for their achievements as coaches and their impact on youth and athletics.
Bill earned a bachelor's degree from SUU in 1972 and embarked on a lifelong career of exemplary coaching and teaching. A 1997 inductee into the SUU Athletic Hall of Fame, he has always strived to provide young athletes the means to improve their minds and abilities so they could then achieve their goals as individuals and as team members.
In 32 years as a football coach at Mesa High School in Mesa, Arizona, he has fashioned a winning percentage of .725 and produced numerous players who have achieved individual success as all- state performers, as high school all-Americans and as all-Western States stars. Two have gone on to the National Football League.
Bill's awards and honors over the years have been many and varied but perhaps most telling was his selection as a Super Learning Role Model by the Super Bowl XLII committee. That award, presented at the 2008 Super Learning Gala, marked Bill as a true and dedicated mentor to youth. His achievements include a 1992 state championship in football and a bevy of coach of the year awards as well as prep coaching awards from ESPN and the NFL.
Mechele, a 1985 graduate of SUU and current physical education department chair at Hillcrest High School in Midvale, Utah, has forged a brilliant career as coach of 12 Utah State 5A state championship teams and nine runner-up squads in three sports.
Following a stellar collegiate record as a gymnast and a national champion high jumper at SUU, where she is also enshrined in the Athletic Hall of Fame, she moved to Hillcrest and immediately began a successful run coaching gymnastics, winning five state crowns before the sport was discontinued by the Utah High School Activities Association in 1991. Her Huskie girl’s tennis teams won two state championships and a state second place trophy between 2002-2004. As coach of the Huskie boy’s tennis team in 2007, her squad finished second in the state.
She has coached the Hillcrest drill team for 17 years, racking up state championships in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2009. Along the way, her drill teams earned nine region crowns and seven second place trophies as well as more than a dozen national championships in various venues, including three times in the Champions Dance competition, twice in the United Spirit Association and twice in the New York Nationals.