LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The Eisenhower High School family is mourning the loss of coach and teacher Joseph McKenzie.
Joseph McKenzie taught math and was an assistant soccer coach at Eisenhower High School for the last six years.
“Imma miss him a lot. He felt like a grandfather to me, I never had a grandfather figure in my life, and he was always there for me whenever I needed him,” Rachid said.
Seth Rachid is a recent Eisenhower graduate who played for McKenzie throughout his high school career.
He said everyone wanted to be around McKenzie because he always figured out a way to put a smile on the faces of his players.
“He use to take his shirt off at practice, and spin around in a circle then, shoot a PK, then miss, and then fall. But he would just do a lot of out of the wall stuff just to make us laugh. Whenever we had a bad loss he would try to lift our sprit up a little bit, and keep our heads up, and always wanted us to do our best,” Rachid said.
Rachid said learning about McKenzie’s passing left him in complete disbelief.
“I just didn’t believe it. I saw it on my phone, and I was like this can’t be real. I asked a bunch of friends did this really happen, you sure? It kind of just hit me like wow he’s really gone, crazy,” Rachid said.
In Coach McKenzie’s honor, the school had a miracle minute where teachers passed around an envelope around their classrooms for one minute, giving students a chance to donate anything from change or dollars to his family.
“We really hoped Mr. McKenzie family understands how much he means to us, how much he meant as a faculty member, teacher at Eisenhower High School. To the other staff members, students, and just know that we love him and are here for them,” Activities Director Amber Mayfield said.
Mayfield hopes the funds will put a dent in their costs.
The school was able to raise of total of 23-hundred dollars during the miracle minute.