McKinnon Retired In 1981 As School’s Winningest Coach
EVANSTON, Ill. – George McKinnon, a 1940 graduate of Northwestern University and the Wildcat head baseball coach for 20 seasons, passed away Monday at the age of 90.
McKinnon served as the head coach of the NU baseball program from 1962-81 and compiled a 304-391-6 record over
that span. At the time of his retirement following the 1981 season, he was the school’s winningest coach in any sport.
McKinnon enjoyed a successful playing career of his own at Northwestern as a middle infielder while helping lead the Wildcats to the 1940 conference title.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he went on to play one year of minor league baseball in the Chicago Cubs organization. World War II halted McKinnon’s playing career as he served four years in the Navy.
After the war, he took a teaching and coaching position at Fenn College (now Cleveland State University), coaching both basketball and baseball. He earned his master’s degree from Western Reserve in 1947 and joined the coaching staff at Cleveland Heights High School the following year. He remained there for 12 years before returning to NU as an assistant football coach to Ara Parseghian.
During his 20 seasons as the head baseball coach, he led the team to five 20-win seasons, including a career-best 28-12 mark in 1973.
McKinnon was inducted into the Northwestern Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994. He is also a member of the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.