marco polo shop The Death of a Coach shuts down tight
Union City is a borough of Erie County, located 26 miles from the burgeoning metropolis of Erie. It has a population of around 3600 people, which is roughly the same number of people who lived there a century ago. Once known for its furniture factories, Union City is now known for little more than its potato and corn fields.
And its high school sports teams.
Despite its small population, the Union City Bears have had some of the best wrestlers, jumpers and throwers in the state of Pennsylvania. Justin Clickett won state in the shot put and discus. A few years later, his little sister did the same thing. Sharon Geisler recently the state championship in javelin a first for a female at Union City. They had champion relay teams and cross country teams. And wrestling team sends competitors to states, which is a huge deal in the state of
The Bears success a point of pride in a small town in which most of the school around work on their family farm, or the small business down the street.
So the residents of this town are still dealing with the news of last week.
Ed Margie, the 37 year head coach of the wrestling team, and also a coach of the field and football teams, died suddenly at the of 60.
While Coach Margie racked up 397 wrestling victories, and numerous others in his other sports, that was the last thing on the minds of the 3,000 people in Union City.
The high school shut down for his funeral. Flowers, many of the them decorated in Union City Bears green white, came by the truck full to the funeral home. And the door bell of Ed widow Sherri, executive assistant to the principal the high school, never stopped ringing with donations of food, paper products and lots of hugs.
For over 7 hours of viewing at the one funeral home in town, almost one thousand people stopped by to give their respects. And many of them were kids some joined by their parents who had also been coached or taught by Ed Margie. His three daughters went from having to be consoled, to doing the consoling of the hundreds of students who believe that man who had was now gone.
Coach not afraid to be an active member of his athlete lives. He sought out students who seemed to be struggling or running into trouble, and convinced them to come out to wrestling. Through being tough, yet compassionate, rigid, yet understanding, Coach Margie turned around the lives of many young Union City kids not just by teaching them to be a great wrestler or runner, but by teaching them how to be an adult.
So coaches, understand that how you measured is not by touchdowns, or school records,
but by how much you teach, and how much you love, your student athletes. Because you have the opportunity to change lives. Which is much better than any trophy.
I married one of Ed daughters, when I his son in law I felt honored to have the opportunity to act as the surrogate son of a coach who had gone through his life with three daughters. But what I learned is that he had all ready had thousands of sons he had treated each one of athletes that he coached for almost years with the respect of family.
In many ways, he was one of a But because of my love of sport and what it can bring to young people, I hope that in many ways he not. I hope that there are many others like him out there, because he was everything that this world needs.
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