Beloved Phoenix swim coach Ed McHale dies after being hit by car

January 27, 2022

PHOENIX, AZ – Support is pouring in for the family of a beloved swim instructor who died on January 23, 2022.

“It’s just hitting everybody incredibly hard. It’s just unbelievable to look at the loss, and his future was so, so great, so powerful. And where he could have gone is–wow,” said Bob Hubbard, the owner of Hubbard Family Swim Schools.

Phoenix police say, Ed McHale, 42, was crossing 44th Street near Osborn Road when a southbound car hit him. Police say the driver stayed at the spoke with investigators. Detectives do not believe impairment was a factor in the crash. Investigators say preliminary information suggests McHale had crossed against a ‘do not walk’ signal. Hubbard hired a young McHale as a swim instructor when Hubbard Family Swim Schools opened in the late 1990s.

“He wasn’t even 21, and he came and joined us, and it was obvious from the very beginning he had a gift,” Hubbard said. “His ability to work with children, his ability to work with coworkers and lead coworkers–and again he had a special gift for special needs children. He was present every day. When he was in the water, it was a gift. He had an ability to communicate; he had an ability to interact. He was selfless and unabashed.”

Hubbard said he walked McHale down the aisle at his wedding, and he even met his wife through the swim school.

“You could hear Christine laughing from a mile away, and it usually had something to do with Ed. He’s just a great all-around guy,” said Patrick Burch, McHale’s brother-in-law. “Sometimes I think we take for granted who and how amazing people are in our lives, but you know, all of a sudden they’re gone, and we all start talking about how incredible they are.”

Hubbard believes McHale coached at least a quarter-million kids around the Valley.

“If you do the math, 20 hours a week, for 48 weeks a year, 8-10 kids every hour–the number of children that he impacted is in the hundreds of thousands,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard is asking anyone who has pictures, video, or a story with McHale that they share it with them on their website as they put together a memorial video for his family.

There is also a GoFundMe account set up to support McHale’s wife and five children during this difficult time.

We extend our condolences to Ed McHale’s family and friends at this time of great loss for them.

Source: 3TV/CBS 5