East Tenn. community mourns 2nd football coach after losing battle to COVID-19

Coronavirus

COALFIELD, Tenn. (WATE)– The Coalfield community lost another loved one to COVID-19 Wednesday night.

The Henry family also lost another loved one.

Jared Henry, 47, defensive coach for the football team, died just a little more than a month after his older brother and head football coach Keith Henry, according to Christina Henry, Jared Henry’s wife.

“My sister-in-law and I have buried three family members. Two brothers and their mother,” Christina Henry said.

Christina Henry said her husband’s battle with COVID-19 wasn’t easy.

“In Jared’s terms, it’s five yards up the middle one day and three yards backs. Sometimes five yards up the middle and ten yards back, you’ve got a loss,” she said.

It wasn’t easy on the family either, especially since Jared Henry had to stay at the University of Kentucky after an open ECMO machine was made available for him.

“I’m here to tell you it’s excruciating,” Christina Henry, said.

“I’ve been going back and forth on three separate visits to Lexington, staying four, five or six nights at a time and then I would come home and be with our children, and then I would go back,” she said.

The last time Christina Henry saw her husband before he died was on Sunday. She’s been able to look at some of the highlights of her family’s life with her husband.

Their two children have been able to share the football field with their dad at some point while in high school.

“We’re so blessed that he got to be coached by his dad for at least two years of his career at the high school,” she said about her son.

Her daughter didn’t play football, but she helped too.

“He enjoyed my daughter for four full years. She was water girl,” Christina Henry said.

Henry herself enjoyed watching her husband’s passion of football and coaching come alive on the football field.

“I was always in aw of watching him and the plays that he would develop…where they really were on the line and they needed to have a good hard stop, he was there,” she said.

Morgan County Schools Director David Treece said Jared Henry was a great coach, teacher and mentor to the students.

“Always put the kids first. Whether it was in the classroom, whether it was on the football field–always putting kids first,” Treece said.

Treece said losing both Keith and Jared Henry creates a hole that will be hard to fill in the Coalfield community. He said the loss of Jared Henry meant losing the friend he often with fishing with.

“That’s a big void for me now that he’s gone,” Treece said.

Christina Henry said she and her kids will have a lot of good memories to look back on.

“I’ll be able to see them hug each other and high-five each other and just enjoy the moments of all the wonderful successes they had as coaches and players,” she said.

She said she doesn’t want any family to ever lose a loved one to COVID-19 again. She said they even used to be the family who thought they would never be impacted.

“You don’t know once, until COVID actually hits you just how hard it’s going to really attack you and what part of your body it’s going to attack,” Christina Henry said.

She said some good has come out of the bad. Friends have reached out saying the now always wear their mask when going out. She said teachers have also reached out.

“Teachers have been saying to me, ‘we weren’t sure about taking that vaccine until what happened to your family, that yes we’re taking the vaccine,'” she said.

Christina Henry said her husband was always worried for her safety. So, she was glad she was able to tell him she’s going to be protected from COVID-19 before he died.

“I let him know, I got my shot. Everything’s going to be good,” Christina Henry said.

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