High school coaches play a huge role in shaping an athlete’s life. And that was certainly the case for Craig Howard, who coached Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow at Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
According to Jacksonville.com, Howard died unexpectedly on Thursday night at the age of 64. Howard coached a state championship team at Nease in Tebow’s senior season, and his teams appeared in three consecutive state title games. He later was coach at Southern Oregon, where he accumulated a 50-23 record. His 2014 team won the NAIA championship.
Tebow took to Twitter to share thoughts on his beloved high school coach.
Heartbreaking to lose my coach Craig Howard today. More than a coach, he was a mentor & father figure. He changed my life & I will miss him! pic.twitter.com/oNU9p35HFW
— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) January 20, 2017
In addition to Tebow, Howard sent more than 50 players to play Division I football. After Tebow won a state championship in his senior season, he went on to win a national title in his freshman season at Florida. Tebow later won the Heisman Trophy.
Howard is survived by his wife, two children and five grandchildren.