New Castle News

July 16, 2013

Double Duty: Former Shenango basketball coach Bill McNees will be father of the bride — and the person officiating at his daughter’s wedding

David Burcham
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — After the most important proposal had been offered and accepted, Kelly McNees and fiancé Matt Krawchyk made another.

With their destination wedding scheduled for July 26 on a beach at North Carolina’s Outer Banks, the couple had something to ask the father of the bride.

Kelly sat down with her dad, Bill McNees, to request a favor.

“Matt and I are looking for the right person to perform the ceremony and we’d be honored if you would consider it,” she said.

The former Shenango High School boys basketball coach is seldom caught off guard, but those words left him speechless.

“That came out of the blue,” he said. “But I could tell she was serious.”

After a few seconds of processing in silence, Bill responded with, “That’s not what I thought you were going to ask. I thought it’d be something trivial.”

He expressed how not being a minister might be an obstacle, but Kelly had already done research. “You can get certified online,” she said.

Bill needed a day to think it over, but he already knew what he would do.

“Nothing means more to me than my family,” he said.

Bill delivered his answer the next morning and within days had met all legal requirements for certification.



THE WEDDING

Matt, 30, is a graduate of and former athlete at Wilmington High School. Kelly, 29, is a graduate of Shenango High School, where she coaches the dance line. She teaches at Freedom High School.

They dated for 10 years before becoming engaged last Christmas Eve.

 “Since I teach, we wanted a summer wedding, but that would be six months for 2013 or 18 months for 2014,” Kelly said. Choosing six months meant less time to secure sites for the wedding and reception.

Thus, the wedding was planned for the Outer Banks, where the Krawchyk family has vacationed for years. “It’s always a relaxing and low-key time when we go there,” said Kelly.

It may not be so low key this time.

Kelly is expecting about 75 people at the wedding. The couple will have a local reception Aug. 16 at the White Barn in Prospect.

While both Kelly and Matt attend church here, the logistics of a beach wedding changed some of their plans.



ASKING DAD

Kelly and her mother, Kathy, were having dinner and discussing other wedding topics when the thought of who should perform the ceremony came up.

The idea of picking a minister in North Carolina who didn’t know either bride or groom seemed unappealing. Jokingly, they threw out some names of family members and friends when the idea came to Kelly.

“We didn’t want dad to feel like he had to say yes if he didn’t feel comfortable about it.” Kelly said.

Kathy encouraged Kelly to ask Bill, believing her husband would be honored just to be asked.

She was right.

When it comes to multitasking, McNees has few peers. He’ll have even fewer after the upcoming nuptials.

It might not be the equivalent of coaching a basketball game while refereeing it, but it’s close.

“I’m an emotional guy and this is going to be every bit as nerve wracking as any basketball game,” he said

Bill does a lot of public and motivational speaking and he’s been “tinkering around” with what he will say at the ceremony.

“But this is a totally different animal.”

In just over a week, Bill will perform in dual roles of father of the bride and marriage officiant.

Perhaps he will walk her down the aisle before stepping forward and turning around. Or perhaps that duty will fall to Kathy or Kelly’s brother, Steve.

It could get interesting when Bill asks, “Who gives this woman to be wedded to this man?” and then answers his own question.

“We’re not sure how it will all work yet,” admits Kelly. “Some things haven’t been decided.”

But one thing she knows, “the ceremony is going to be so special and personal.”

Kelly said she and her father have always had a close relationship.

“He has been incredibly involved in everything I’ve done,” said Kelly, who followed her father unto the teaching profession. “I’ve always been a daddy’s girl.”

As for Bill and his sentiments about his daughter: “We’ve always had a strong relationship. I have great respect and admiration for her.”

Although some are referring to him the Rev. Bill McNees, the former coach seems certain this will be a one-time happening and not the start of a new profession.

 “This may be the first time I’m hoping for one and done.”

(Email: d_burcham@ncnewsonline.com)