Terry McCann, Former SIMA Executive Director, Passes

posted by / News / June 8, 2006

Terry McCann, former fearless leader, great friend, mentor and fellow surfer, passed away yesterday morning, June 7th, at 3:30 a.m.

A 46-year association veteran, Terry J. McCann joined the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) in September 2001, where he served as executive director through 2003. McCann was sought by the SIMA Board of Directors because of his extensive trade association experience and passion for surfing. A former two-time NCAA champion and Olympic gold medalist in wrestling, McCann brought with him a strong background in leadership and goal-oriented determination.


Before coming to SIMA, McCann served as executive director of Toastmasters International for 26 years until his retirement from the organization in August 2001. Under his leadership, Toastmasters experienced the greatest growth in the organization’s 75-year history, expanding to 8,000 clubs and more than 180,000 members worldwide. In addition to Toastmasters International, McCann’s association background includes a stint as assistant executive administrator and chief financial officer for Lions International, the world’s largest service organization, and as director of education and communications director of the Super Market Institute, the leading trade association in the food distribution industry.

McCann’s wrestling career includes two NCAA championships while at Iowa University, three National AAU championships and an Olympic gold medal in the 1960 Rome games that completed his days in competitive wrestling. He went on to serve as a volunteer coach for many years, yielding as many as fifteen U.S. contenders on teams for the World and Pan-American Championships and Olympic Games and was one of the principal founders of the U.S. Wrestling Federation (now USA Wrestling), the national governing body of the sport. He also served on the board of directors and executive committee of the United States Olympic Committee and as vice president of the international federation. In 1977 he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

A dedicated husband, father of seven grown children and grandfather of 18, McCann and his wife live in Dana Point, Calif. where surfing now dominates his life. He began surfing more than 26 years ago and is the former head of the Monarch Bay Outrigger Canoe Club. McCann continues to surf daily and is a dawn-patrol regular at the Point at San Onofre where he is affectionately referred to as “The Wave Slut” by the crew.

While the exact time of the service has not been finalized, Terry’s funeral will be held this Friday morning (at either 9 a.m. or 10 a.m.), June 9 at St. Edward’s in Dana Point.

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  • ronald reeker

    my brother is married to colleen terry mccann’s daughter. i have met terry only on two occasions. once at his home when my brother married his daughter, and again on my brother’s 25 th wedding anniversity.
    on both meetings with terry, he showed the best a person could ever be concerning his recent illness.
    we had opportunity to speak about his life and loves and his children.
    it there was anyone who ever exemplied the american spirit he was terry mccann

    america has lost one of its heroes. terry you was one of the best.