‘A great coach and leader’: Waco community mourning loss of beloved coach
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Waco ISD is mourning the loss of a longtime coach and district employee of over 30 years after her unexpected death over the weekend.
Coach Belinda Denman, 58, of University High School, died at a local hospital Sunday. Sources say she had been sick for a few weeks, but her death came as a shock to friends and family.
Denman started her career with Waco ISD at University Middle school as a coach and teacher.
She later moved to University High School, where she served as the head girls track coach and athletic coordinator.
A beloved science teacher, Denman’s career with the district spanned 32 years.
Waco ISD Director of Athletics Ed Love issued this statement to KWTX saying, “On behalf of Waco ISD and the athletics department, I am saddened to share that Coach Belinda Denman passed away on Sunday, January 29. She worked for the district for 32 years and was an important part of the Waco ISD family. She served as the girls’ head track coach, girls’ athletic coordinator and science teacher.”
Love went on to say, “I had the honor to work closely with Coach Denman and can say that she was a light up the room kind of person. Coach Denman was a great leader who always had a positive and encouraging attitude and an amazing sense of humor.”
Love said that he promoted Denman to the girls’ athletic coordinator because of the special way she connected with athletes.
“I promoted her to coordinator three years ago because of the way she built strong relationships with all those lucky enough to be around her,” Love said. “She touched the lives of so many and will be missed more than I can say.”
Tributes from former players poured in on social media Monday as the shocking news spread to those whose lives she impacted.
One former athlete wrote “you’ve played a big part in the woman I’ve become and am becoming.”
Another wrote “You were a great coach, leader and teacher, but most importantly a great person.”
Another student shared her memories by writing “if you had her as your coach or science teacher you already know how she got down. Coach was tough but you knew the ones she truly cared about and went hard for and I’m so thankful she kept me in line.”
Funeral arrangements for Coach Belinda Demnan are pending.
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