TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - On the campus of Tyler Legacy, flags were flying at half-staff in remembrance of Coach Tim Johnson who was instrumental in the Red Raiders playoff football season.
This morning the team who was last on this field with their beloved coach returned for a different reason. To celebrate his life, launching 24 balloons representing his number of years as a coach.
The school believed it was important to have a service. Coach Joe Willis says it was tough on the kids.
“It was hard on them, making it equally hard was the fact that the services were a good way from here. A lot of them didn’t have an opportunity to get back to town in time and go to those services. We felt like it was important to have some closure for the guys today. And get out and get a chance to speak their mind and be around other people and share some memories about Coach Johnson.”
He takes with him his bright smile.
Legacy Principal Dan Crawford says Coach Johnson meant more to the school than being a football coach. Coach Johnson, to hear others tell it, was passionate about life and being around all of the students not just the athletes. Coaches are teachers who offer new ideas.
“And the lessons they learned from him not only by his words but also by his actions, as well. Both inside the classroom as a teacher, and out on the field of play as well.”
Those lessons won’t be forgotten. They will live even through his family. Mrs. Alicia Johnson was thankful for her husband’s players and what he meant to them.
Alicia Johnson said, ”We’re more joyous, you know, to hear how the kids felt, how the coaches felt. In that short time that means a lot to me. It, it did something.”
The players’ words help reassure Alicia Johnson that the coach, her husband, left behind a long-lasting impression.
Two players remembered their coach this way.
Chris Harris said, ”I was with him everyday. He meant a lot, so it really did hurt when I noticed he was gone. Now that I know that it was real, because at first I didn’t think it was real. It sucks to hear somebody like that is gone.”
“He led me the right way and told me right from wrong”
Coach Willis sums it up best.
“He made it fun to come to work.”