Zac's Impact on the community

W.B. Hawkins Award


Each year Teacher's Credit Union presents the W.B. Hawkins Award to an outstanding boy and girl who exhibit excellence in academics and athletics at the TCU Bi-County Basketball Tournament. Zac's received the 54th award posthumously. His family was presented with the award on January 19, 2019.

ABC 57 story May 10, 2019




Teresa Mago is fighting for heart health after losing her son all too soon. Her son, Zac Mago, was a star athlete at John Glenn High School.

 “He was the most goal-driven young man I think anyone has ever met,” said Mago. “Zac had an amazing ability to make everyone a friend.”

Mago describes her son as a protector. He was to everyone’s knowledge a healthy teen.

“He had had a checkup at the school when they did the physicals, and the doctor thought she heard a heart murmur, so we went to the doctor and they did an echo cardiogram and it was fine,” said Mago. “We thought okay, we’re in the clear, this is good we don’t have anything to worry about. That was in 2014. And something changed.”

In July of 2018 Mago lost her son. She says he went to take a nap after taking her mother shopping.

“It was not unusual for him to take a nap, and he just didn’t wake up,” said Mago. “He had no idea, and we had no idea.”

The heartbroken mom went on a search for answers.

“Getting answers and understanding it. That was driving me. I had to understand. I had to know why,” said Mago.

And seven months later, in February of 2019, she found out that it was an enlarged heart and sudden cardiac arrest that caused Zac’s death.

“That’s when everything started to come together very quickly,” said Mago.

She created the Zac Mago Foundation. It is dedicated to making sure no family in her community has to go through the pain she’s feeling.

 “Doing heart screenings help not just the kids but the families,” she said. “Even if we catch none, we’ll know. Parents can know their kids are ok.”

“He would have went on to do great things,” Mago said of her son Zac. “Now he’s doing greater things. He’s saving lives.”

Now she’s on a mission to educate others about sudden cardiac arrest.

 “I think people are naïve. I was naïve. So I think people are naïve and they don’t know about it and you don’t think it’s going to happen to you,” said Mago.

She’s set a goal of one thousand screenings a year.

“We’d be screening at the same schools,” she said. “It’s not just one screening that you need to do. You need to do two. You need to do a screening two years later. And maybe had we known that, Zac would have been screened in 2016 and we would have noticed that his heart was changing.”

And she hopes to do those screenings within the John Glenn conference.

“We play like 22 games in basketball, it would be a beautiful thing to be able to screen most of the kids at those schools,” said Mago.

She says it’s a bittersweet feeling.

“I don’t have my son, but we’re saving lives,” said Mago.

And after a year of painful firsts, she says holidays are always difficult.

“Every year, birthdays, you know we have Mother’s Day. Those are hard,” she said. “But other moms will wake up and have their child because of Zac. So that is a blessing, and that makes me feel good. And aside from having Gillian and Matthew, that’s a huge reason to celebrate Mother’s Day. Definitely.”

At Mago’s first screening, she screened 62 students. She has another 153 screenings planned for John Glenn High School on May 20-22. There are also multiple fundraising events planned for this year. More information on those can be found here on the foundation’s website.

The company doing the screenings is called mCORE. You can find more information on their website.

Zac Mago Jersey Retirement




WALKERTON, Ind. (WNDU) - It's been a tough few months for the John Glenn community after they unexpectedly lost rising senior star athlete Zac Mago this summer.

On Tuesday, the community came together for their first home basketball game of the season without him.

"I notice that he's always with us," senior Nick Frankiewicz said. "Every time we step on the floor, I know that he's with us in a certain part of us, leading the team in his own way."

Zac Mago could be felt and seen all around, even on his teammates' shoes.

"This team has really gelled together," coach Travis Hannah said. "Obviously, because of the circumstances, they've had to. They've had to be very tough."

Everyone rallied around the family when his jersey was retired before the game. It was very emotional when his jersey was given to his parents.

"We have had people with us every step of the way, and have been blessed by our community and all the communities that surround us," said Zac's mother, Teresa Mago. “It’s definitely made this journey easier, and it’s definitely not an easy journey.”

“The love that they show for us and for Zac just goes to show you the love they had for him and how special he really was, and it just warms our hearts as a community and family," said Zac's father, Robert Mago.

Zac's sister Jillian Mago said his spirit lives through all of the other kids' smiles in the school.

There wasn't a dry eye on the court. Even Bremen was supporting Zac with their warmup shirts that had his last name and the number 5 on the back of them.

"You're competitive and you know the situation, so you always want to help out," Bremen head coach Jerry Smith said. "To me, that's what makes America great, as you're ready to help out anytime and anywhere and do what's best for the country."

Smith said he wishes he could have 12 students just like Zac on his team, because he was such an incredible teammate and player.

“He played the game the right way," Smith said. "He always worked hard like they said in the presentation, but you could see it being on the other sideline. He works hard, he loved the game and he gave it his all.”

But Zac's memory lives in these floorboards, and his number is never to be forgotten.

"I don't think there's one particular thing you have to do on a daily basis," Hannah said. "I think it's just the understanding that we have and the love that we have for him, he's here every day."

“He’s always with us, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him," Frankiewicz said. "I think about him every day, so times like this always get a little harder. We love him, and he was the greatest leader and friend we could have ever had."

The Mago family has started a nonprofit to help people get heart testing, because Zac died from sudden cardiac arrest in his sleep.

His mom said if she can help one other family by preventing another tragedy like this, she will have done her job.

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Coach Hannah honored


Three coaches to receive special awards at 2019 IBCA Clinic

Hannah, Miles and Pierce to be honored for contributions to basketball on April 26

Saturday, March 30, 2019 4:00 AM

Three men will receive special presentations during the 2019 Indiana Basketball Coaches Association annual clinic next month.

John Glenn boys' head coach Travis Hannah will be recognized with a Point Guard College Transformational Coach award as presented by the IBCA. In addition, Jeffersonville boys' assistant Clark Miles and Crawfordsville boys' assistant Danny Pierce will receive awards as IBCA Assistant Coaches of the Year.

This is the third year for the PGC Transformation Coach award, which is presented to a coach who has impacted the lives of his players and fellow coaches at his school and within his community. The recipients is a coach who is respected by his players and fellow coaches for his dedication, positive approach and integrity on and off the court.

This is the second year that the IBCA is recognizing assistant coaches with an award. The awards are going to coaches who have contributed in a significant way to their respective schools' programs for a number of years.

Hannah, Miles and Pierce will be honored at the 2019 IBCA Clinic on April 26 at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis. The full clinic runs April 26-27. Clinic fees are $50 for IBCA members and $100 for non-IBCA members.

Transformational Coach: Travis Hannah, John Glenn

Travis Hannah lost a key member of the John Glenn program in the summer of 2018, Zac Mago. Zac was entering his season not only as the team’s best player, but arguably its leader and hardest worker. Zac passed away unexpectedly, his absence having a huge impact on the Falcons’ program.

Hannah did a remarkable job of helping his players overcome the loss of their friend and teammate. Not only did they have success on the court with a 10-13 record and winning the championship of the Bi-County Tournament, his players continued to work hard and bonded together through the experience. Coach Hannah is the major reason because of his example and the mentoring he has provided.

Hannah has coached at John Glenn for 12 years and has influenced many of his players on and off the court. His teams are known for playing hard and playing “the right way,” according to Ryan Bales, the coach at Plymouth who nominated Hannah.

“Coach Hannah did an unbelievable job of keeping perspective when facing adversity,” Bales said. “Obviously the situation of losing a key four-year performer would be enough, but there are so many examples where he shows integrity and stays positive. He keeps a proper perspective on life no matter what kind of season his team has. I have a lot of respect for him with the way he carries himself on the court as a competitor and as a man off the court. He is a dedicated husband and father as well.”

Hannah is a 1992 graduate of Triton High School and a 1996 graduate of Bethel College. In 20 seasons as a varsity coach, his teams have a 223-224 record.

Hannah began his coaching career at Brandywine High School in Niles, Mich., in 1999. He spent three seasons at Brandywine (27-37), winning one district championship. He moved to Oregon-Davis in 2002, guiding the Bobcats for five seasons (66-52) with a stint that capped by a 27-1 season and the Class A state championship in 2006-07. He is 130-135 in 12 seasons at John Glenn.

Hannah and his wife, Christin, have two children – Brycen, 14, and Bryley, 11.

Hannah, Miles and Pierce will be honored at the 2019 IBCA Clinic on April 26 at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis. The full clinic runs April 26-27. Clinic fees are $50 for IBCA members and $100 for non-IBCA members.