The Mighty Macs
by Dana Chaffin

She Dared to DREAM, they Dared to BELIEVE!

The Mighty Macs is available on DVD February 21, 2012. This is a very inspiring movie based on the true events that happened in the early 1970's at Immaculata College. The movie is a Cinderella type story about how a women's basketball team with no funds, no gym, very few players and a brand new coach stand together and fight for what they believe in, their dream! The film is funny, touching and a great family drama with lots of action and encouragement for all ages. The movie is very entertaining and the production is first class, but the story of Coach Cathy Rush and the original team is amazing.
The Mighty Macs movie is the story of a young and newly married coach Cathy Rush, played by Carla Gugino (Son-in-Law, Night at the Museum), who most think should stay at home and raise children, but she wants to coach. Her husband Ed Rush, played by David Boreanaz (Bones, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), struggles with her decision, but tries to understand as he is a professional referee in the NBA. Cathy finds a college willing to hire her, the tiny girls Catholic Immaculata College in Philadelphia with less than 500 students. The college has no gym due to a fire, not many of the girls want or know how to play basketball, and there are no funds for uniforms or even basketballs. So with only one basketball and a desire they set out on the adventure of a lifetime, to win the first ever Women's Basketball Championship! With the help of feisty Sister Sunday, played by Marley Shelton (Grand Canyon, Never Been Kissed), and encouragement from the nun cheerleaders the team starts to come together. The road to their glory is not easy and it did not always work out as they planned, but the team always gave 100%. Their opponents always out numbered them and had better facilities, but that could not match up to heart of the Mighty Mac's from Immaculata.
The Mighty Macs movie highlights mostly the 1972 season for the Might Mac's, but those players followed their dreams and many of them did amazing things after their time at Immaculatta. Cathy Rush and the players from the original team have made great strides in developing not only women's basketball, but encouraging others to dream big. For example Theresa Shank was a 3 time All American and featured in the April 1973 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine. Shank went on to become one of most winning coaches in Division 1 women's basketball and coached the 1992 U.S. Olympic team. Today she is the Vice-President for University Advancement at Immaculatta. Another player, Rene Muth, won 3 Outstanding College Athlete of America Awards and a New York Press All-American Citation during her time at Immaculatta. After graduating in 1975 she stayed at the college the following year as an assistant to coach Cathy Rush. Muth went on to coach the Lady Lions at Penn State, was named Coach of the Year twice by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and 2 time Big Ten Coach of the year. In 2007 she won her 600th career victory. This is just an example of a couple of the players and their contribution to women's basketball . Now Coach Cathy Rush went on to do amazing things too. Rush coached the gold medalist 1975 Pan American U.S. Women's basketball team. She was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008 and a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. After coaching Rush became the first woman commentator for major networks like NBC, CBS, ESPN and the Sports Channel. She is a breast cancer survivor and a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society. She not only taught her players basketball, but to follow their hearts and live out their dreams.
The Mighty Macs is not only an entertaining movie, not only a great story in history, but it is also a great inspiration to all who watch even if you are not an athlete. So grab the popcorn and pom-poms and get ready to cheer on the Mighty Macs!

Dana Chaffin is a Christian freelance writer and editor of Certain Cinema magazine who has published many articles on and other Christian websites.  Passionate about Christian film. Email [email protected]

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