Parkwood's head football coach, Terrence Gittens, passed away on Thursday night.
I am still in shock as I type these words—my thoughts and prayers to Coach Gittens' family and the Parkwood football community. It's been over eight hours since I first received the horrible news, and I still cannot believe it.
What a loss. Coach Gittens took over as head coach on May 6, 2020, and ever since, Gittens threw himself into the role with great focus and passion.
That passion and caring were evident last September 17, 2021, following Parkwood's late road win over Piedmont after not playing for three weeks due to Covid restrictions. Parkwood wrapped up their fall season with a 6-3 record and was 2-5 in the spring.
I spoke with Coach Gittens within 24 hours of his official hire, often on the Parkwood practice fields and more than a few times on the phone, asking about local connections that could benefit his kids and program. He always spoke positively about his kids and shared ideas on how to promote them.
As former New Yorkers, we bonded quickly despite coach loving the New York Yankees. Coach Gittens was always accomodating, giving freely of his time to hang out after a hot summer workout to discuss his team. His love for his football kids was genuine and showed every time we spoke in person or on the phone.
Eight years ago, our county lost another coach far too early with the passing of Piedmont's head football coach, Ron Massey. These days remind us how precious life is and the importance of faith and family.
Tonight, I pray for and think about Coach Gittens and his family. May his children find comfort in the weeks ahead from the caring, loving, and respectful words about their dad all over social media from athletic communities across North Carolina.
Again, we lost a good man.