Remembering John McNamara

Posted at 5:40 PM, Jun 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-29 17:47:42-04

John McNamara was a lifelong journalist. He was considered and old-school journalist.  

He did it all.  

But the people who know him best know there was one area he truly loved.  


His colleagues at the Capital Gazette say John McNamara's dream job was sports reporting.

Dave Gell knows that first-hand.

"He made sure I was on my A-game at all times. He was there to ask the right questions and the tough questions," said Gell.

John McNamara was one of five victims shot to death at the Capital Gazette on Thursday in Annapolis.

The man who went by 'Johnny Mac' covered the Maryland Terrapins for years. He even wrote two books about his alma mater's sports teams.

"John really did have a passion for Terps hoops," Gell added.

During many of those years working in College Park, McNamara analyzed games and filed stories alongside Gell, who was the Terps Media Relations Director in the mid 1990's.

"He was definitely fair. He was there to ask the tough questions during the difficult times and I always respected that about John. He was literally always there," said Gell. "It was my job to work there and be there 12 hours a day. He must have been there nine hours a day, it seemed like."

It was that work ethic that endeared him to so many.

"He was really passionate about his profession and telling the stories. That's something I could always relate to."

And McNamara also grinded it out on the high school scene.

"I'm sure he covered a lot of kids in Anne Arundel County that went on to major Div. 1 programs," said Gell. "So, while most of the time he was on the football and basketball beat, the high school beat was definitely a passion of his too. The parents and the student athletes at the high school level, they appreciate his dedication and seeing their sons' and daughters' names in the newspaper."

McNamara was a reporter and editor for the Gazette when he died.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook