Liberty County celebrates the life & legacy of Coach Kirk Warner
Liberty County honored and celebrated the life of their late football coach, Kirk Warner in the very stadium he coached his beloved Panthers in.
HINESVILLE, Ga. (WTOC) - Kirk Warner passed from cancer on June 16, leaving behind a hole in the Liberty County community.
Warner was known as many things; a husband, father, coach, teacher, Georgia Bulldog, a mentor, a friend-- the list goes on.
It was evident Sunday night the impact he had as the county gathered together to celebrate his life.
“Coach Warner, the great Coach Warner, take your rest. The Panther family loves you, but God loves you best,” said Verdell Jones, a member of the Liberty County Board of Education.
More than a dozen colleagues and friends spoke about Warner and his character.
“He let his work speak for itself. The passion that he displayed on the sidelines at games every Friday night carried over into his classroom and the love he had for his students school wide,” said Dr. Warnella Wilder, Liberty County’s Assistant Principal and Athletic Director.
With over two decades as the Panthers head football coach, Warner impacted hundreds of lives.
“I’m the man, the husband, the father, the friend, the coach, because of Coach Warner,” said Tony Glazer, who served an assistant coach under Warner for over 10 years. Glazer is currently the interim head coach.
Warner wore number 83 when he played for the University of Georgia from 1986 through 1989.
The Panthers retired the number and presented the jersey to his wife, Kimberly.
Throughout the weekend several of his former players returned home to give back in his honor.
Fellow Bulldog, Richard LeCounte, who is now with the Cleveland Browns said it’s hard to describe Warner’s impact.
“I get choked up talking about it, because you know one day you’re here and the next day you’re gone, but I think he left his legacy on this Earth and he did everything he was supposed to do as a man. He was a strong man,” LeCounte said. “I can’t remember the countless times of me and him waking up 6:00, 5:00 in the morning, going to catch a 1:00 game between the hedges man, at Georgia, Florida, wherever I wanted to go, you know, Coach Warner always took me there and I’ll forever love him for that.”
Coach Kirk Warner was 54 years old. In addition to his wife, he leaves behind three sons.
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