MONROE CITY, MO (WGEM) — Saturday’s news that beloved Monroe City assistant football and girls basketball coach Jamar White passed away after a car crash had an immediate swift and devastating effect on the Tri-States sports landscape.
Those who knew him grieve his life said it’s important to remember his legacy.
According to Monroe City head football coach David Kirby, if you ever met Jamar White, it wouldn’t long before you’d made a friend.
“Once you were in, you were family,” Kirby said. “He’d always try and spark that conversation up and that’s the part where he made people feel special.
A member of the 1994 state championship football team, White never stopped loving Monroe City athletics.
Just hours before the crash that took his life, White was celebrating the Panther softball team’s Class 2 District 5 championship victory.
Monroe City High School athletic director and head girls basketball coach Cody Leonard said White wanted to hear the entire game’s play by play even though he had been texting White the whole game,
“We’re on the phone from when I got back to Monroe until I was driving home doing play by play of the whole thing even though I’d already texted him, but he wanted to hear everything again,” he said.
He said White never passed up a chance to communicate with his players.
“He text all our basketball girls yesterday before the game and was trying pump them up for that,” Leonard said. “Once I told him that we won, they all had messages before they got back to the dugout from him.”
“He expected them to be great and he wanted them to be great and then when they finally reached that level, he was there with those open arms and that big smile,” Kirby said. “When they had special moments it was special for him.”
The hardest days are often shaped that way because there were so many good ones before it.
While he might not be there physically on the sidelines anymore, White’s presence with Monroe City will never fade.
“That’s going to be the message that he would want is for us to understand we’re a part of a family,” Kirby said.”We’re going to come together as a family. We don’t have to do this alone. We’ll grieve as a family. We’re going to celebrate him as a family.”