Paul McCarty, considered by many to be one of the best athletes ever to play at Bangor High School, has died at the age of 61 in Delray, Florida.
Pete McCarty, Paul’s older brother, said Paul was found dead Monday. He said his brother had health issues and died of natural causes.
“He was always out there trying to help somebody else,” said Peter McCarty, who explained that Paul was working in drug prevention care at the time of his death.
Peter called Paul “a great brother.”
Paul McCarty starred in football, baseball and basketball at Bangor High. Former Bangor High basketball coach Bob Cimbollek compared him to the late Leroy Patterson for his talent and versatility.
“When you think about [the greatest] all-around athletes at Bangor High, he was right in that category with Leroy Patterson,” said Cimbollek, who coached Paul McCarty.
Both were star running backs in football and played center field in baseball, Cimbollek added.
“He wasn’t as good a basketball player as Leroy, but he was a late bloomer [in basketball],” Cimbollek said. “He played well for us because he was such a good athlete. He was a good defender and a good rebounder, and he helped us offensively because he could go to the basket. He was quick off the dribble. Everything came easy to him.”
As a junior, running behind fullback Pete McCarty’s blocking, Paul McCarty scored a state-record 152 points in football. He had exceptional speed and elusive moves that enabled him to evade tacklers. He was a threat to break a long run every time he touched the ball.
“This is really sad,” said Bangor High School athletic director Steve Vanidestine, who became a member of coach Gabby Price’s Bangor football staff after Paul McCarty had graduated but recalled watching him play in high school.
“One thing I remember about Paul McCarty was when he walked on the field and the other team saw he was healthy, the game was over,” Vanidestine said. “He was one of the best athletes to ever play at Bangor.”
After a senior year was marred by injury, Paul McCarty played football at Boston College and captained the Eagles. He was converted to wide receiver and concluded his BC career with 79 catches for 1,319 yards and 14 touchdowns before graduating in 1978.
He also ran the ball 24 times for 130 yards and a touchdown and returned 17 kickoffs for 272 yards.
Pete McCarty attended the University of Massachusetts and had the opportunity to play against Paul and his Boston College team.
“I taught and coached for 40 years, and he was as good a natural athlete as I saw,” said former Bangor High School baseball coach Bob Kelley. “He was unbelievable. In football, as soon as he turned the corner, the rest of the offense could just stop and watch him run.”
On the baseball field, Kelley said Paul McCarty had “all five tools” referring to speed, fielding, arm strength, hitting for power and hitting for average.
Kelley said he hit over .400 and was a three-year starter. Paul McCarty had tremendous range and a strong arm in center field and was a prolific base stealer who also had home run power.
“Baseball may have been his best sport,” Cimbollek said.
Vanidestine also pointed out that Paul McCarty was a talented swimmer before switching over to basketball when he reached high school.
“I was told his middle school times would have [scored] very good at the state level in high school,” Vanidestine said.
Kelley pointed out that the McCarty brothers and their late parents, Walter and Laura, were a really nice family.
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Correction: An earlier version of this story had an incorrect age for Paul McCarty at the time of his death.