WINFIELD, Kan. The Cowley County community this week is grieving the death of a Winfield P.E. teacher and tennis coach. Brian Shaw died Tuesday after battling cancer.
Shaw's former players say their coach gave them a lot of memories. They remember his encouragement and how he'd take a shot to lightheartedly motivate them when he knew they could go faster, yelling, "My grandma can run faster than that."
Winfield High School Assistant Tennis Coach Stan Boggs says between coaching and teaching P.E., Shaw worked with thousands of kids.
"If kids were having a tough day, the first thing he was going to do was make sure they left having a good day," Boggs says.
Shaw's family is encouraging people in the community to wear Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Royals, Winfield or Ark City t-shirts to his funeral Sunday.
Boggs says that's what Coach Shaw would want.
"He loved his Cubbies, he loved Winfield, he loved the (Ark City) Bulldogs. And that's just him," Boggs says. "I can tell you that he doesn't want us in suits and ties. He wants us to be comfortable and let's have a good time and let's celebrate a wonderful life."
Current Winfield High School tennis players say coming back to practice wasn't easy this week, but they say if Coach Shaw taught them one thing, it's to stay positive. They say that's what's going to carry them through the rest of the season.
"You can always remember him as being happy," senior Britney Bounvongxay said. "I don't think you ever had one moment where you saw him mad or sad. He was good at holding his emotions. which helped all of us be like, 'we need to stay positive.'"
The team says he hopes to honor Shaw with a strong placing at next month's state tournament.
Shaw's funeral is set for 2 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 30) at the Brown Center on the campus of Cowley College.