SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - There has been a flood of sympathy from not only across Northwest Louisiana but from all corners of the state following the passing of 49-year-old head football coach for Captain Shreve High School Richard Lary.
The Captain Shreve High School Gridiron Club tweeted their hearts are heavy Saturday afternoon. It happened at Gator Field during the Captain Shreve vs Southwood baseball game. Airline baseball coach Toby Todd, who was with Coach Lary when he lost consciousness, says they rushed him to the hospital. Shortly after arriving at the hospital, Lary was pronounced dead.
"He was a loving husband, a loving father, he was a great teacher and coach and a great friend. He touched lives at many schools; Woodlawn, Huntington, Byrd, Shreve, you can't go to a corner in this town in Shreveport without meeting somebody that knows Coach Lary. That played for him, that was coached by him, that was taught by him because he was that type of man," said Coach Todd.
Lary had been a teacher and coach in Caddo Parish since 1988, when he began his career at Woodlawn High School. He spent 8 years at Woodlawn then moved to Huntington High School for the next 9 years where he served at the Raiders' defensive coordinator during his final three years.
He then moved to C.E. Byrd in 2005 where he served as the head softball coach in addition to his football assistant duties. He then moved to the defensive coordinator position in 2006.
Coach Lary spent six years at Captain Shreve, he became the Gators head coach in 2009.
Saturday evening, Caddo Parish Schools Superintendent Dr. Lamar Goree sent the following statement:
"It is with deep regret and sadness Caddo Schools confirms the loss of beloved Captain Shreve football coach Richard Lary to an apparent heart attack earlier today.
During his nearly 27 year career in our district, Coach Lary epitomized what it is to eat, sleep and breathe Caddo. He adored and mentored his athletes and taught them the life skills they needed to be successful, courageous individuals. We will miss his tenacious, go-get-‘em attitude and unparalleled humor. Today, our district lost one of the greats.
All of our 'We Are Caddo' team extend our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers to Coach Lary's family including his wife Becky and his beautiful daughters who will carry on his amazing spirit."
Former Woodlawn High head football coach Dennis Dunn, who says he gave Richard Lary his first coaching job in 1988, tells KSLA News 12 Sports he got the news of coach Lary's death via text message from Calvary head coach John Bachman. "My heart sank," said Dunn.
Dunn also recalled why he decided to hire Lary as his defensive backs coach back in 1988. "We loved his personality. We were all young at the time."
Dunn is now the head football coach at Louisiana College in Pineville. He added, "It's a realization of how brief life is. He was a smart, quality coach but was an even better person. He was loved by everyone."
Dunn served as Woodlawn's head coach from 1987-1992.
Many of Lary's players, friends and colleagues took to twitter Saturday evening to express their shock and sadness of his death.
Varsity football player, senior kicker, Chad Usry, @ChadUsry, tweeted "He's the reason I'm getting to play at the next level, I cannot believe that he won't be here to share that experience with me. Speechless."Lary was attending today's Captain Shreve/Southwood baseball game before being rushed to the hospital. On Instagram, @Shrevedugout, posted a picture of players from both teams huddled together, on one knee.
The caption to the post reads: Please join us in prayer for Coach Richard Lary and his family. Coach was attending the Shreve vs Southwood baseball game when he lost consciousness. He has been take by ambulance to a local hospital. No more details are available at this time.
Woodlawn Defensive coordinator and defensive back coach at Woodlawn, Jerwin Wilson tweeted (@Coach_D_Wilson) "Sending my condolences for Coach Lary's family and Captain Shreve! Caddo lost a great teacher, coach, mentor and motivator #GatorStrong.
Lary was set to turn 50 in early May.