Soccer game

New Richmond teacher and coach Brian McMonigle saves life during soccer game

Brian McMonigle, a New Richmond High School social studies teacher and men’s basketball coach, is grateful to Judy Middeler for teaching him CPR. He likes to encourage others to train, knowing that one day someone’s life could depend on it.

For McMonigle, that day was Sunday.

On May 2, McMonigle sprinted to help a football coach who collapsed shortly before the start of a youth football game at Clear Creek Park in Anderson Township.

McMonigle and his wife, Tracy, were at the game to watch their eldest son, Blake, shortly after watching a youth basketball tournament that morning. When the football game was unofficial, McMonigle volunteered.

Just before taking the field to start the game, McMonigle overheard a relative say that a coach had nearly fallen. At the time, McMonigle said, those who saw the incident thought the coach might have tripped.

Moments later, the same coach collapsed on the sidelines. McMonigle, suspecting a heart attack, sprinted over to the coach, knelt beside him, rolled him over, and checked for a pulse, finding none. Seeing that the coach’s body was struggling to breathe, he started CPR.

“There were all kinds of other people around, all suggesting things, which made it very frantic,” McMonigle said in a press release. “There was another parent right in front of me, Kim Porter, whose son is on the team with Blake. She was the voice that I focused on. She said ‘you’re fine. You do this it takes. Keep going.'”

At one point, while administering CPR, McMonigle worried that the trainer was not getting it right.

“I kept going and I kept going and he backed off. I thought, ‘He’s still alive, he’s still alive. I have to stay focused on what I need to do until the paramedics arrive,” McMonigle said. “People were talking all around me; a woman was on the phone with her wife. the background continues.

McMonigle said his wife was one of many people who called 9-1-1. He said rescuers got to the football pitches quickly but struggled to get back on the pitch.

“I felt like I heard their siren for two minutes after they got to the park,” McMonigle said. “They had difficulty getting through the maze of cars and people.”

Tracy and others worked to direct traffic in an effort to clear a path for the emergency vehicle. When the emergency crew arrived, they asked McMonigle to continue performing CPR while they worked to set up their equipment.

“They cut his shirt and hung him up and continued rescue techniques before bringing him back,” McMonigle said. “They said, ‘You saved him.'”

It has been an emotional few days for McMonigle since the incident.

“It’s weird to hear someone say you saved their life,” McMonigle said. “It’s a great feeling, but at the same time it’s a bit overwhelming.”

As a trainer, McMonigle was trained for decades in CPR. There were a few incidents over the years where people collapsed and he reacted, but those people always had a pulse and no CPR was needed. Those situations, however, likely primed McMonigle for his response on Sunday.

This week, the shattered coach and his family members reached out to McMonigle to express their appreciation. The coach is in good condition and plans to go to his team’s training on Friday.

Throughout the experience, McMonigle said he appreciated his wife and the others who made the 9-1-1 call and helped bring emergency responders back to the field. Mrs. Porter and her calm, supportive voice were a huge help.

“There was a lot of help,” McMonigle said. “It was really amazing to see so many people taking care of one person. The paramedics were amazing when they got there. It was the right recipe to save someone’s life.”