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Community remembers coach who died during championship game

Posted: 8:58 AM, Oct 27, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-27 08:58:23-04

It's a way to let the people who Coach Jibreel Goins touched remember him and celebrate his life.

"We decided to do this out here because this is where we are every day with the children we coach," his cousin and co-worker Deyeya Jones said.

St. Joseph Park in Lansing is also where Goins used to play football as a kid, and where he coached his own team of six- and seven-year-olds. Jones says Goins brought a special passion to coaching.

"Jibreel expected a lot out of the kids, and he wanted to be an inspiration for his son, he has a son, Jibreel Jr.," Jones said. "He loved on the kids just as much as he loved on his own son."

The Founder of the Kappa Express Football program Willard Walker coached Goins and, years later, hired him. "He had so much energy, so much passion," Walker said. "As a person, he was just an energetic teddy bear."

Goins died after having a massive seizure during his team's championship game last week. His team went on to win the title and friends say Goins died doing what he loved.

"Pretty powerful for the kids, the kids liked him a lot, energetic, he brought some of his experience from playing football out on the field so the kids really appreciated that," Jones said.

Walker says Goins had such an impact that more than a hundred people braved the cold and rain to come together to remember him. "He liked people, he had a lot of friends, a lot of friends, he was just a good person," Walker said.

In honor of all the time he spent practicing in the park, the football program has decided to dedicate a tree growing there to the coach.