MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – For Johnson County, it’s hard not to think of Coach Pete Pavusek when you think of baseball.

However, tragedy struck Johnson County High School when the baseball coach unexpectedly died on Thursday night.

With a coaching career spanning 26 years, Pavusek is often regarded as a legend on and off the field. Pavusek’s warm, welcoming demeanor is remembered fondly by those who knew him best.

“He has an infectious personality. Always joking. Always laughing,” said Johnson County High School Assistant Baseball Coach Eric Crabtree. “You can’t help but love him. He didn’t know a stranger.”

‘Coach P’ (middle) with Assistant Coach Michael Icenhour (Left) and Assistant Coach Eric Crabtree (Right)

Pavusek, known to his students and players as “Coach P,” was an institution at the high school and in the community.

“People need to know how much he cared and how great he was,” said Crabtree. “It doesn’t matter how many wins or losses he had, people know what a great man he was.”

Pavusek loved his family. His wife Diane, also a teacher at the high school. His older son, Petie, a Longhorn alumnus who plays baseball for King University. Peyton, his younger son, is on the baseball team coached by his father.

“Coach P was a family man,” said Johnson County High School principal Leon Henley. “He really adored his players and he adored his kids, and he loved them immensely.”

Pavusek is missed by many. The school system released the following statement to News Channel 11:

Sadly, Coach Pavusek did pass away. We are heartbroken, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He was a beloved PE teacher at JCHS and a wonderful baseball coach who truly cared for all of his players. We were blessed to have him in our system for 26 years. He will be greatly missed.