High school football coach dies

Lincoln High School coach Keith Howard, 48, died of a likely heart attack Friday night, according to media reports. Those same reports reveal the coach was having chest pains during the game in Attalla.

Howard was a very good coach at both Lincoln and Ragland. I’ll be honest, I don’t like many football coaches—at any level, college or high school. But there are always exceptions. There are always coaches that you enjoy talking to, listening to and learning from. Howard was one of those coaches. It was a privilege to write about him.

Ragland was blessed with a string of great football and basketball coaches. For such a tiny town and small school (Class 1A) Ragland was successful. The success was due to people like Jeff Hardy, Dan Ford and Howard.

These men strove for success, and made a small school into contenders both on the field and in the classroom. When Howard moved across the river to coach at Lincoln, a place where he played, it was sad for Ragland, but it didn’t diminish the respect for him in the community.

Though I haven’t spoken to him or covered his teams in years, I’ll always remember the positive way he presented himself and his program. More coaches should be like him.

—Alan