Monday, June 1, 2009

Coach Tolle

A great guy that I wish I knew better. Touched many lives. What better way to live and be remembered.

Popular Copley High School coach Stuart Tolle passes away at age 47

Posted by Tim Rogers/Plain Dealer Reporter June 01, 2009 11:31AM

About 200 high school football players and female track athletes gathered in the Copley High School fieldhouse around midnight Sunday to mourn the assistant football and girls track coach Stuart Tolle, one of the most popular teachers at the school.
Tolle died of an apparent heart attack after mowing the lawn at his house in Akron's Firestone Park neighborhood on Sunday. He was 47. Tolle played at Alliance High and went on to star at Bowling Green before spending parts of three seasons with the Detroit Lions, the Browns and the Arizona Wranglers of the U.S. Football League.

"This is a total shock," said Ed Robinson, a former assistant coach at Copley and a close friend of Tolle's. "I am devastated. Stuart was one of the greatest guys I know. The kids just loved him. The staff loved him. We all loved him."
Tolle, 6-3 and 245 pounds during his playing career, played in one NFL game, for Detroit in 1987. Twice he was one of the Browns' final cuts and spent time on the reserve squad. Tolle, a science teacher, was known for keeping himself in shape.
A bachelor until recently, he jogged regularly and spent time in the weight room. He also owned the most popular pet in Copley Township, a yellow lab named Claire, who went everywhere Tolle went. She even had a special spot in the school, where she patiently waited for Tolle's day to end.
"This is a real tragedy," said Copley Assistant Principal Jim Borchik. "Stuart had the gift. He connected to kids from all walks of life. I can't begin to tell you how many children he has reached and touched."
Tolle attended Copley's graduation ceremonies on Sunday before going home to do yardwork.
"He was a low-key guy who always had a smile on his face," said Robinson, now an assistant principal at Polaris Vocational School in Middleburg Heights. "Stuart kept to himself but he was always willing to help someone out."
Funeral arrangements were pending.


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