From 1967 to 1995, William “Bill” T. McIntosh was as involved in high school athletics in Jackson as anyone could be.
The longtime football and basketball coach and athletic director retired from the school in the mid-’90s and moved to Texas with his family, where he rounded out his storied life in Friendswood.
McIntosh died after a 10-year battle with multiple sclerosis. His wife, Rosemary, said he died of complications from the disease at 83.
Rosemary McIntosh remembered her husband for staying active until his illness forced him out of the game. She recalls summertime alarm clocks in Jackson buzzing at 5:30 a.m. for football camp two-a-day practices, and a cardio regimen that never relented, no matter the conditions.
“All that time he still jogged,” she said Tuesday, “ran on the Elk Refuge no matter how cold it was.”
News of McIntosh’s passing made its way through athletic, academic and community circles. Former Jackson Hole High School football coach, current head track coach and former “Billy Mac” student Bill Wiley said he was the “coolest adult I had in my life back then.”
“‘Billy Mac’ was the man,” Wiley said. “In fact we shared conversations every football season. He called me before every single game when I was the head football coach, just to wish us well and check in on things.”
Staying in touch despite the many states that separated McIntosh in Texas from his friends in Jackson was never an issue. Former coaching partner and longtime friend Les Bishop said that until last week the two spoke on the phone every day.
“He always had an interest about Jackson and always wanted to know about the school and things like that,” Bishop said. “Jackson was his life. Being the athletic director and part of the Wyoming High School Activities Association, that was his life. He’ll just greatly be missed.”
A profile of McIntosh in a November 1992 edition of the Jackson Hole News said he grew up in the mining town of Superior, spending his time playing sports. After graduating from the University of Wyoming, McIntosh and family moved to Delaware, where he coached football for six years before being offered the opportunity to move back to the Equality State, first as a vocational tech teacher and a football coach. Six years into his tenure in Jackson he became the athletic director, and filled in as the girls basketball head coach from 1990 to 1992, winning a state championship along the way. He was also elected to the Wyoming Coaches Hall of Fame, a designation he accepted humbly.
“I don’t feel like I belong,” he said in 1992, “but I sure am happy to be here.”
Among the many athletes he coached he was able to oversee the basketball career of his lone child, daughter Joan (now Joan Anders). And his legacy in Jackson is cemented with each blade of artificial grass on Jackson’s football field, as the stadium bears the name “William T. McIntosh Stadium.”
That, Rosemary said, was perhaps his highest honor.
“He was so proud of that,” she said. “That’s the best thing that ever happened to him.”
Editor’s note– This story was written by Chance Q. Cook and appeared in the April 28 edition of the Jackson Hole News and Guide.