CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) - The Crockett community is mourning a tough loss of one of their most beloved coaches, Coach Andrew J. Hopkins. After coaching at Crockett High School for 57 years, Hopkins passed away Monday night at the age of 95.
His memory is stamped all over Crockett High School, including a multi-million dollar gymnasium named in Hopkins honor.
He coached multiple sports including baseball, basketball and football, touching the lives of so many that went through school under him.
School officials also said Hopkins played a pivotal role in integrating the school system back in the late 1960s.
"He was so well known and the kids respected him so much," said Gene Hampton who coached with Hopkins. "His discipline was something very, very valuable especially during integration. He was very talented in handling the students."
Hopkins was a well-respected coach and known for his disciplined ways of molding students' lives.
"That's been the driving force to where I am now. Just seeing him as that mentor, that person you can count on. You can actually talk to him," said Abbs Mecheal, a former player for Hopkins.
"He was a big impact. He was like a father to the ones who didn't have a father. He was there for us all in this community," said Cleotis Hickman.
A funeral service for Hopkins will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Andrew J. Hopkins Activity Center in Crockett.