Dr. Frank McCue III, the University of Virginia athletics physician for more than 40 years, died Sunday at age 82.
McCue served Cavaliers athletes, and hundreds of others from around the state, from 1961 until his retirement in 2003. The school's athletics administration building carries his name.
"He was one of the most incredible guys," said Hampton High football coach Mike Smith, a dear friend of McCue's. "He loved the coaches and the kids and always remembered everybody's name.
"I think he did more for the University of Virginia than Thomas Jefferson."
McCue suffered a heart attack within the last two months, Smith said.
Born in Lewisburg, W.Va., McCue earned his undergraduate (1952) and medical degrees (1956) from Virginia and completed his residency there. He left briefly for a hand surgery fellowship in California and returned to Charlottesville in 1961.
The renowned Dr. James Andrews, a pioneer in elbow surgery, studied under McCue at Virginia.
"No one loved the University of Virginia more nor has anyone done more to contribute to the welfare of citizens across the Commonwealth than Frank McCue," athletic director Craig Littlepage said in a statement. "When I think about people that truly made a difference in the welfare of others, Dr. McCue will be at the top of my list.
"He was more than a pioneer in the fields of sports medicine and hand surgery. Dr. McCue dedicated his life to ensuring the health and welfare of athletes of all levels and citizens around the country and the region. It is hard to estimate the number patients he served, the number of aspiring doctors and trainers he mentored or the number of hours he volunteered during his career. He'll be missed and there will never be another like him."
McCue also served as the athletics surgeon for William and Mary, VMI and the University of Richmond before those schools had their own physicians.
"R.I.P to the great Doc McCue. You will be truly missed," Virginia quarterback David Watford of Hampton tweeted Sunday evening.
"Sometimes you get a chance to meet someone who was truly part of the fabric of a program. Doc McCue was that to UVA. Rest in peace Doc," Cavaliers play-by-play man Dave Koehn tweeted.
Denbigh High football coach Marcellus Harris, a former East Carolina receiver, tweeted: "RIP to the man that gave me a 2nd chance to play sports after breaking 2 bones in my leg in high school The Dr. McCue! Great Man #UVALegend"
And that he was.
Upon his retirement, McCue was named Professor Emeritus of Orthopedics at the University of Virginia's hospital. Moreover, he was the first inductee to the Order of the Crossed Sabres, the Virginia Football Alumni Club's highest honor.
The Virginia High School Coaches Association annually gives a sports medicine award in McCue's honor.
The McCue Society, comprised of former colleagues, fellows, trainers, students and friends, funds sports medicine scholarships to Virginia undergraduates and graduate students.
"Frank always put others before himself," former UVa executive vice president Leonard Sandridge said in a statement. "He was a generous mentor of medical students, an effective caregiver for athletes of all ages and a highly respected physician within the profession.