The community of Bullard, located 15 miles south of Tyler, is in mourning after one of their own went to be with God.
33-year-old Megan Dobrinski, the head coach of the Panthers’ softball team, lost a three-month battle with cancer on Wednesday morning. She was diagnosed in May shortly after their 2019 season wrapped up. The surrounding communities of East Texas rallied around her and Bullard even hosted a softball and kickball tournament this past week to support her. At the tournament, many said she was dedicated to the sport of softball and they wanted to give back.
In school, she was a softball standout at both All Saints’ Episcopal and Brownsboro. In college, she played two years at the now-defunct Lon Morris College in Jacksonville. As a coach, she also spent three years on Mike Reed’s staff at UT Tyler. Her maiden name was McGill.
On his Facebook page, Megan’s husband Jonathan shared a tribute to her with a picture of her and their two children, Davis, 3, and Ella, 6.
“This morning I lost my best friend in life and mother of our beautiful children,” he wrote. “We celebrated our eleventh anniversary last week. For those who don’t know, Megan was fighting cancer. Words can’t express how grateful we are for all the love shown from family, friends, surrounding communities and those we don’t even know.”
Bullard athletic director Scott Callaway issued the statement: “It’s a tough loss for the Bullard ISD and community. There are a lot of broken hearts right now. Megan meant a lot to our school district. She impacted a lot of students in athletics and her classes. She made sure athletics was a fun experience and that the kids had fun doing it. She always had a smile at work.”
“Smiley” was her nickname by many of those who were close to her. It was given because no matter what she went through, she would always have a smile on her face.
Meredith Grant, who now coaches at Lindale, coached Dobrinski in her freshman year at All Saints and two years at Lon Morris.
“She was an amazing person and friend,” she said. “She did a lot for the community of Bullard and Chandler. She’s one of my best friends, and she will be missed dearly. I am thankful she is not in pain anymore, but it’s heartbreaking. I feel for her family, her husband and her kids. I also think about her team at Bullard and her coworkers. This is a difficult way to start the school year. Hopefully her legacy will live on because she touched a lot of people.”
The funeral arrangements are set with visitation on Friday from 6-8 p.m. at Chandler First United Methodist Church and her funeral service Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at Audry B. Owens Auditorium in Bullard.