The Father Ryan High School community is mourning the death of longtime coach and teacher Joe Coode.
The school shared Tuesday news of Coode's passing. He was a faculty member of 30-plus years and an alumnus of the school ('79).
He worked as an assistant baseball coach and in football operations and as a wellness teacher at the time of his death, as well as being a member of the Trinity House at the school.
"Ever since he became part of the Father Ryan faculty more than 30 years ago, Joe has been a tireless advocate for our students, a dedicated teacher and a familiar and supportive presence for our athletes," Father Ryan president Jim McIntyre said in a statement.
"His energy, quiet strength and good humor made him a welcome face for all in the Irish community, and we will miss him greatly. We join in prayers for Christene, Olivia, and Austin as we remember Joe's loving and warm presence on this campus and throughout our community."
The school says that after receiving his degree in Physical Education from MTSU in 1985, Coode joined the faculty of Father Ryan in 1986 as a wellness instructor.
In addition to this role, he coached the junior varsity baseball team, was an assistant coach for the football team, the basketball team and the softball team, served as an athletic trainer for many years and took pride in caring for all of the Irish athletic equipment, the school remembers.
Father Ryan says his commitment to younger students was always evident in his work with the Father Ryan Summer Camp program. He led many camps himself and created new camps for the youngest participants to discover athletic interests and explore fun activities, the school says.
"I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked and coached with Joe. His commitment to this community over his 36-year career made us better as teachers and better as a school," FHS principal Paul Davis said of Coode. "I believe firmly that Joe will join our community of saints in watching over Father Ryan High School. May we all be open to his presence and be inspired by his love for all of us and our students."
Funeral arrangements are incomplete, but Father Ryan says the school will share them when details are made available.