Those from Drexel remember him well. His smile, his encouragement, his advice on life and tips on bettering their basketball or football skill are memories his students remember well.
“He was so great with the kids; Coach Tate always encouraged leadership…” said Amber Bernard, director of operations for the Coach Tate Foundation.
The Coach Tate was founded in 2010 following Coach Johnny Tate’s passing.
His daughter, Phranceena Halres, started the foundation after seeing the many students affected by Tate’s death.
“At the wake and the funeral, when I saw the number of children, and the tears, the stories and the parents…to come back and realize what he had learned and cultivated through the years,” Halres said.
Utilizing a mission to provide character-building and leadership development, Halres created a scholarship program with the Coach Tate Foundation.
“We look at the football camp as part of that mission,” Bernard said.
The foundation is hosting a football camp Monday and Tuesday.
“My hope is for the community,” Halres said. “Give (the youth) personal and professional development. Apply those things when they go out on the field.”
The football camp is open to any 5- to 12-year-old. The camp is $20 and includes lunch, mouth piece, T-shirt, water bottle and certificate of participation.
The camp was created to be local and affordable so kids in Burke County could have the opportunity to participate, Bernard said.
The football camp will feature the expertise of many well-known names in football.
John Settle, running back for the Carolina Panthers and the Panther’s junior training camp will be on hand. Roman Gabriel III, a former National Football League player and founder of Sold Out TV, Gerald Anderson, coach of the Birmingham Southern Panthers, Jerry Moore, head coach of Appalachian State Mountaineers Football team, and Kedric Golston, defensive tackle for the Washington Redskins, will all be present to assist in the football camp.
The camp will conclude Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. with closing ceremonies.
“This is about the community,” Halres said. “Bring business, help the economy, (it’s an) improvement on education for kids. Get families back to basics.”
The Coach Tate Foundation Football Camp will begin on Monday and registration will be open until 9 a.m. Monday at East Burke High School.