Megan McGill Dobrinski’s battle with cancer came to an end Wednesday morning.
Dobrinski, the head softball coach at Bullard High School and a former softball standout at All Saints Episcopal School and Brownsboro High School, was diagnosed with cancer in May.
Dobrinksi’s husband, Jonathan Dobrinski, posted to his Facebook page on Wednesday: “This morning I lost my best friend in life and mother of our beautiful children. We celebrated our 11th 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. Funeral arrangements will be posted at a later time.”
Dobrinski was 33. She and Jonathan had two children — Ella, 6, and Davis, 3.
Those who coached Dobrinski and worked with Dobrinski shared their thoughts after hearing the news.
“It’s a tough loss for the Bullard ISD and community,” Bullard athletic director Scott Callaway said. “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 in 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.”
According to those close to her, Dobrinski always had a smile no matter what she was doing, which earned her the nickname of “Smiley.”
Chris Frederick, who works for Brownsboro ISD, has a daughter, Megan, who was a freshman when Dobrinski was a junior at Brownsboro. Frederick said Dobrinski was a mentor to his daughter and became like a fourth daughter for him.
“She took care of my baby,” Frederick said. “She also ate me out of house and home when she came over before practice. You can’t get any better than Megan Dobrinski and her family. She was a tremendous person, and she means a lot to our family.”
Frederick said he went and visited Dobrinski on Tuesday to say “bye” to her.
“I told her she would be a shortstop in heaven,” Frederick said. “It’s just not fair. I guess God needed another angel.”
Current Lindale head softball coach Meredith Grant coached Dobrinski as a freshman at All Saints and also for two years at Lon Morris College in Jacksonville. Even after Dobrinski played for Grant, they developed a friendship.
“She was an amazing person and friend,” Grant 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.”
Tyler Junior College head softball coach Maria Winn-Ratliff hasn’t known Dobrinski for long, but said she enjoyed getting to meet her.
“I was fortunate enough to meet Megan at an NFCA coaching convention, and within five minutes, I knew we would be really good friends,” Winn-Ratliff said. “I very much enjoyed the short time we had together. It’s a tragic day for the community to lose someone like Megan. I’m going to miss her infectious smile and infectious personality.”
Dobrinski spent three years on head coach Mike Reed’s staff at UT Tyler.
“To meet Coach Dobrinski was to love her,” Reed said. “Her personality and her ability to form relationships was the best I have ever seen. Her influence on our program brought an energy and a smile. She’s had a lifelong impact on those she has coached. She will never be forgotten. It’s a big loss for our community. My heart goes out to her family.”
On July 21, Grant, Winn-Ratliff, Reed and other softball coaches from around East Texas gathered at the Bullard softball field to host a clinic to raise money for Dobrinski’s family.