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ASU Music Scholarship Named for Valley Sports Psychologist

December 19, 2002

The ASU School of Music in the Herberger College announces The Gary Mack Music Scholarship in honor of Valley sports psychologist Gary Mack who died from coronary disease at his Paradise Valley home on October 7, 2002, at the age of 58.

Gary Mack was considered one of the nation’s top sport psychology professionals working with many elite athletes and professional teams including the Seattle Mariners, Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, Chicago Cubs and Arizona Cardinals. He also wrote the best selling book, Mind Gym, An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence, with former Arizona Republic columnist David Casstevens.

A celebration of Mack’s life was held on October 20, 2002, at the Peoria Sports Complex with many of his friends, colleagues and clients in attendance. Former Seattle Mariner manager Lou Piniella gave the eulogy with musical performances by Alice Tatum and members of the ASU School of Music.

Mack had a passion for both music and sports, and often combined the two in his counseling work. In a recent article in USA Today, he was quoted as saying “Athletes respond viscerally to music. It’s a way for them to get ready and a way to let go of the game. It creates an energy and a mood, and the selection is all important.”

A lover of music himself, Mack was working with the ASU School of Music on a number of projects, including helping ASU music students achieve their own level of performance excellence using many of the same principles he practiced with athletes. An anonymous benefactor, who became aware of Mack’s work and the many lives he touched, decided to contribute a lead gift to endow a permanent scholarship in Mack’s name. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a student(s) who embodies the values and characteristics Gary Mack applied in his work.

Contributions to the scholarship fund can be made to the Herberger College School of Music at Arizona State University. For more information, contact Wayne Bailey, Director, ASU School of Music, 480-965-2819;

Media Contact:
Mary Brennan