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Commentary: "He's been a complete inspiration."
Minutes after watching his team salvage its season with an impressive 30-19 win over previously undefeated and state ranked rival Valley View (Germantown, Ohio)
last Friday, Bellbrook (Ohio)
football coach Jeff Jenkins had to clear his throat during postgame interviews.
The emotion wasn’t produced by the victory, rather what it meant.
“This one’s for Coach Mudd,” Jenkins said. “My buddy.”
A longtime teacher and coach at Clinton-Massie (Clarksville, Ohio)
High School, Brian Mudd lost his fight with brain cancer Wednesday. Diagnosed in December 2017, Mudd battled for two years. He was 48. Mudd passed peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends.
He had a lot of buddies.
A well-known and respected coach, Mudd started in education as a student teacher at Bellbrook in the early 1990s. There he assisted the track program before landing at Clinton-Massie.
Like their coach, Mudd’s Clinton-Massie teams were tough, passionate and memorable. Over the course of 25 years and 41 varsity seasons, Mudd’s boys basketball, boys track and field and boys golf squads claimed 20 league titles. He earned 12 coach of the year awards and was inducted into both the Clinton-Massie Athletic Hall of Fame and the Clinton County Athletic Hall of Fame.
His impact outside athletics was just as powerful.
After learning of his condition, Mudd underwent brain surgery, radiation, chemo, a second tumor and another round of treatments.
Mudd’s 84-page manuscript – “When Your Goliath Stands Up”
– is a collection of pieces meant to provide inspiration to all those fighting their own battles.
His speaking engagements
followed the same standard, often resulting in fixated eyes and standing ovations.
“He’s been a complete inspiration,” Jenkins said. “He was kind enough to talk to our program last year
and he left us with a message that we continue to talk about to this day. We’re continually inspired by him.”
In honor of Mudd, Bellbrook will wear special #StrongAsMudd stickers on the back of its helmets for the remainder of the season. At the end of the first quarter against Valley View the school read a statement regarding the gesture.
A Celebration of Life service
for Mudd will be held at 3:00 p.m. Saturday in the Clinton-Massie High School gymnasium. The family has requested everyone wear their Clinton-Massie colors (red, white & blue) or North Carolina Tar Heel blue (Mudd was an avid fan). Mudd is survived by his wife Tammy Grunewald-Mudd and daughter Cierra.
“Our hearts are broken over the loss of beloved Coach Brian Mudd,” Clinton-Massie’s athletic department posted on its twitter account
. “He has always been an inspiration, but he has exemplified strength, courage and Faith throughout his battle with Brain Cancer. He made us all better people. Thank you Coach and Mrs. Mudd for sharing yourselves.”
“He took me under his wing when I was a young teacher and coach and I learned a lot from him,” Jenkins said. “His friendship means everything to me.”