Sometimes words flow easily for me, other times it’s hard… this is one of those times.
Coach Gail Crowe passed away yesterday. December 24, 2019. Coach Crowe had suffered from Parkinson’s Disease for several years and while we all knew she was failing, her death came like a punch to the gut, especially on Christmas Eve.
Over the next days and weeks, many accolades will be said in honor of Coach Crowe and they will all be richly deserved. She was a teacher, coach, and mentor for students of Rabun County for decades.
As the coach of our Ladie’s Basketball team, she turned Rabun County into a powerhouse and made legends of young women like Pat McKay, LuAnn Craft, Dawn Dixon, Kim Cody and countless others. She coached her teams to championships, but more importantly she turned her Lady Cats into winners both on and off the court.
Over the years, she taught PE, coached Basketball, was the trainer for the football team and much more, she was a permanent fixture at all games, long after her retirement.
I was thinking today, I don’t think I ever had Coach Crowe as a teacher, the lessons I learned from Coach had nothing to do with basketball, football or any other school function, the lessons I learned from Coach Crowe were from life.
For me, Crowe signified a quiet dignity for life that I embraced. She taught me how to live in my truth, without words or gestures, she just lived. I learned from Coach Crowe that in being a decent person, people would accept and love you. I learned that often times our differences were more similar than anyone could imagine. From Crowe, I learned pride and honor in who I am.
Through all the honors and accolades Coach Crowe received over the years for her time on the basketball court and in the classroom, I am sure she realized how important she was…. I just hope that in some way, she knew how important her life was for kids like me.
Coach Crowe was tough, she was a competitor, she lived to win and she let every kid she ever encountered know they were loved. Coach Crowe lived a life of dignified grace and for that all of us were blessed by knowing her.
I will always remember Crowe and appreciate the lady that she was. She was one of a kind, one of the best, and a legend in Rabun County, for more reasons than she probably ever knew.
Rest peacefully Coach, you were loved and will be missed.