Editor's note: This is the fourth story in a series highlighting Hernando High's 2012 Sports Hall of Fame inductees.
One of the Leopards' most gifted multi-purpose student/athletes prior to World War II – Eddie McIntyre – will be posthumously inducted this year into the Hernando High Sports Hall of Fame.
McIntyre, who graduated from Hernando in 1940, will be represented by his son, Dan, and his wife and their two children.
McIntyre, who was born in 1920 some 2,137 miles away from Brooksville in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada, died on Jan. 14, 2009.
His athletic prowess included him playing five years (he played as an eighth-grader) for the Hernando football team.
Interestingly, across those five seasons, the Leopards never lost to archrival Dade City-Pasco.
McIntyre's final two years, 1938-39, were sensational.
With McIntyre directing traffic as quarterback, the Purple and Gold finished 10-0-1 in 1938 under Coach Wilburn Hubbard, including blasting Pasco twice: 47-0 and 31-0.
After Hernando clinched the Gulf Coast Conference championship, The Tampa Tribune donated a trophy to the school.
According to archived Tribune stories, some of McIntyre's favorite targets included Jake Varn, Franklin Emerson and J.B. Fatic.
Roy Austin, who weighed 130 pounds, served as McIntyre's backup.
As a senior on Coach Byron Hileman's 8-0-1 squad in 1939, the Leopard defense permitted more than seven points once – a 26-20 nod over the host Bushnell Gators (the school was closed in the late '50s and eventually gave way to South Sumter High).
In the spring of 1940, McIntyre anchored first base for the first-ever Leopard baseball team to reach the Final Four.
Ed met his future wife – former Betty Lee Vause – as she worked for the Hernando County School's superintendent's office in Brooksville in 1944. The McIntyre's only child was Dan.
Dan McIntyre currently resides in Vero Beach, where he takes care of his elderly mother.
According to Dan, his father was a throwback to an era when student/athletes played year-round sports. Ed excelled in three sports at Hernando: football, basketball and baseball.
Dan describes his father having "black hair and dark brown eyes. He was a good-looking guy. He stood about 6-foot-1 and weighed around 165 pounds.
"Dad had a chance to play football at Stetson University, but couldn't afford the $100 to go there, so instead he volunteered for the Army Air Corps (now U.S. Air Force)," he recalled. "Dad was a bombardier and served in the Pacific theater. I remember he flew in the maximum amount of missions and came home with several medals."
After the war, McIntyre attended the University of Florida in Gainesville where he earned two degrees in physical education/social science and school administration.
He then enrolled at the University of Georgia and earned the equivalent of a master's degree, a six-year degree.
Eventually, McIntyre turned to coaching. He was hired by Flagler-Palm Coast (one season) and then Citrus High in Inverness, where he guided the Golden Hurricanes for three campaigns.
He also coached three schools in Georgia. He led the Thompson, Ga. "B" team to 55 consecutive wins.
"I remember when dad coached at Citrus; I rode on top of the duffel bags in the back of the bus to Brooksville, Wildwood and Zephyrhills. Those were good times," recalled Dan. "My dad was my hero. I can't think of a negative thing about him. He was my greatest buddy."
Dan was asked whether his father was a Tom Landry- or Bud Grant-type stoic coach, or a yeller and a screamer.
"My dad was a competitor. He hated to lose," recalled his son. "But he was a compassionate guy with the players. He was a hell of an athlete and he wanted to win at all costs. The best thing I can say about my dad is if you had a son I think you'd want him to play for my dad.
"Dad wasn't a yeller/screamer. He was much more like Landry or Mark Richt at Georgia," noted Dan.
On his dad's coaching style, "He was a demanding coach. He expected his kids to live up to their expectations," noted Dan. "He always made decisions based on the kids' best interests."
In growing up in his dad's huge shadow, "I wasn't near the athlete as my father," admitted Dan. "My dad loved the game and had fun doing it. Guys who played with my dad said he was physically tough. But he wasn't in love with himself – like a lot of today's athletes. My dad played with the right attitude. … In football, he loved to throw it and punt it.
"When dad coached, he stressed teamwork and was a big believer in character," recalled Dan. "What he emphasized was if you do things the right way every day, you'll not only be successful on the field – but in life."
On accepting his father's Hall of Fame plaque, he added, "Dad would be tickled to death to be honored."