School honors memory of late coach

January 18, 2008 4:26:59 PM PST
A local middle school pays honor to one of its late coaches. Coach Aubrey "Glenn" Starks passed away late last year, but, soon, his name will become synonymous with the school where he worked.It was on the gym floor at Cullen Middle School where the coach suffered a heart attack and passed away. But, in better times, that is where he taught students. Now, it'll be a place he'll be remembered for years to come.

A middle school gymnasium is typically filled with enthusiastic noise. But, with the mention of Coach Starks' name students respectfully grow silent.

Student Eric Moshay said, "More than a friend, he was like a family member."

Aubrey Glenn Starks was considered more than a teacher. He was a coach and a mentor, and he dedicated the last 14 years of his life helping youngsters at Cullen Middle School.

"I don't care what it was, he always made a child and an adult feel that nothing is bad in life. You can handle it if you just prepare yourself," recalled Cullen Middle School Principal Ronald Mumphery.

Starks' history with Cullen began when he was a boy. He attended the school before becoming a star athlete both at Jones High School and in college. He'd later spend seven years of his life playing for the National Football League. But he never forgot about his community.

Eric said, "Ever since I've been playing basketball, he always takes it on me. I'll get mad. I'd say, 'Coach Starks, you're too old for this.' He said, 'Old got nothing to do with it.' He'll dunk on me."

Coach Starks passed away last November while teaching at the school. However, his lasting mark was never forgotten.

Mumphery said, "Each and every day he gave the best to youngsters."

This week, Cullen Middle School got approval to rename its gym after the coach. It's soon to be called the Aubrey Glenn Starks Gymnasium.

"What we're going to do is have a plaque made up in his name and put above the gym door when you come in," Mumphery explained.

Coach Starks was known for his two minute drill, often asking students if they had two minutes to live, what would they do. Most say what he did in his life will inspire them for the rest of theirs.

Cullen Middle School Teacher Dolly Spenser said, "It's hard to imagine anyone not having something good to say about him."

Coach Starks is survived by his wife.and five kids. He was 53 years old.

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