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Community to ‘honor and remember’ late Union County high school football coach

Parkwood High staff said head football coach Terrence Gittens passed away unexpectedly on April 7.
Parkwood football coach Terrence Gittens passed away this past Thursday night.
Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 8:13 AM EDT
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MONROE, N.C. (WBTV) – Students, staff and the community at large are coming together Thursday night to remember a beloved Union County high school football coach who passed away unexpectedly one week ago.

A post on Parkwood High School’s Facebook page states an event is taking place at 6:30 p.m. at the school’s stadium to honor and remember “teacher, coach, friend” Terrence Gittens.

On Thursday morning, the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes met before classes began to remember Gittens.

Parkwood High staff said Gittens passed away unexpectedly on April 7.

“He touched so many lives at Parkwood and beyond. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers in the upcoming days, weeks and months,” a social media post stated. “Parkwood is a better place because of you Coach.”

Related: ‘He was larger than life:’ Union County high school mourns after football coach passes away

Gittens was hired in May 2020, replacing Tim Speakman. He came to Parkwood from Cox Mill in Cabarrus County, where he worked from 2011 to 2020. He was an assistant football coach, assistant athletic director and defensive coordinator for the football team during that time.

“Coach Gittens was a friend to many of us and a strong supporter to our students and community,” Cox Mill High School Principal Andrew Crook said. “I could always count on Coach to bring a ton of energy, positive attitude, and an infectious smile to work every day. He will be greatly missed.”

Parkwood High’s athletic director Rocky Richar said Gittens made a huge impact at the school in such a short amount of time.

“He’s one of the best men I’ve ever met,” Richar said.

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