LUCEDALE, Miss. (WLOX) - The tight-knit community of George County is mourning the loss of one of their own after a middle school coach died suddenly last week.
Steven Jordan was the softball coach at George County Middle School. They were in the middle of a game last Thursday in Gulfport when Coach Jordan suffered a brain aneurysm. He died the next day surrounded by his wife, children, and other family members.
Hundreds of people showed up Wednesday night at the middle school for a memorial service for the beloved coach.
While he may be gone, his lessons will remain with his students and loved ones for decades. Coach Jordan was known by his co-workers and students for his infectious personality and his innate kindness.
“He was always making a joke and laughing about something and cutting up. If you were having a bad day, it was impossible to have a bad day around him because he was going to brighten it for sure," said Brittany Brown, an English teacher at the middle school who often ate lunch with the coach.
Many players on Coach Jordan’s softball team spoke about what he meant to them, and how they will miss his guidance and friendship.
“He was just a nice person overall," said Anna Marie Edwards. “He touched so many people and he just helped everybody through bad days.”
“He was always there for you whenever you needed someone to talk to and always made jokes and made you laugh and stuff," said Angela Cochran. “He was a great person.”
“Nothing is the same and it just hard to go through and not think about him the whole time,” said Gabby Cochran.
“He would just always, if we made a mistake, he would always uplift us and he was just really encouraging,” said Zoe Blankenship.
“He was like a father figure to me because he helped me in everything that I did,” said Linzey Fairley.
Many viewed Coach Jordan in a similar fashion, which could be seen by the line of people who waited to pay their respects to his family Wednesday at the memorial service.
“It is just a tribute to who he was and the type of person that Coach Jordan was,” said former assistant coach and close friend Bruce Thornton.
All the players stressed that they will miss him but that they also learned a lot from him. Many of them just wanted to express their gratitude for his impact in their lives.
“I would tell him goodbye and that I loved him," said Keri Henderson.
“Thank you. For sure," said Lillie Moffett
“I would say thank you for being a great coach," said Sidnee Beech.
“I would say thank you for always being there for us and we love you," said Bella Cochran.
A scholarship fund has been set up in memory of Coach Jordan. It will be awarded to a George County student at a later date. If you wish to donate, you can via PayPal by using the email address email@example.com.