HERRIN, IL (KFVS) - Family, friends and students mourn the unexpected passing of a Herrin high school baseball coach.
Principal Dr. Terry Ryker says Keith Warren passed away Monday. He apparently had heart bypass surgery back in December but seemed to recover fully.
Ryker says players thought the world of Coach Warren who was very active in the local baseball community and a member of the Southern Illinois Baseball Coaches Association.
Some members of the team have been coached by Warren since they first picked up a baseball. "He's coached me my whole life," senior baseball player, Aaron Cheatham said.
Cheatham is also the nephew of Coach Warren and said it's difficult knowing he's gone.
"I started pitching as a freshman only on varsity, and then sophomore year I was full varsity and now it's senior year and he's gone," Cheatham said. "And I just...I feel kind of lost, like trying to figure out what we're going to do and everything."
Players say one key piece of advice coach Warren gave was to do it for the love of the game and leave it all on the field.
Cheatham says he hopes his uncle's legacy will continue at Herrin High School, where visionary is key and always give more when playing the game.
Warren leaves behind his wife Kathy, two children, and several grandchildren.