A beloved New York high school soccer coach drowned Sunday while helping his son get out rough ocean waters in Florida, according to reports.
Oneida girls varsity soccer coach Dale McCormick leaped into action over the holiday weekend while he was in the ocean with his 11th grade son and 7th grade daughter, a close family friend told syracuse.com.
The father and kids began struggling with a strong undertow, and while daughter Cortney was able to reach shore and call for help, McCormick assisted his son Jaden, friend Diane Farina said.
Jaden was also able to reach shore, but McCormick vanished underneath the water and when he was pulled back to safety, efforts to save him failed, Syracuse.com reported.
The 48-year-old’s sudden death left the Syracuse-area community reeling.
Farina, whose daughter played for McCormick on the soccer team, told the news outlet he treated his players like his own kids.
“He was a kid. He was a big kid. Everybody knows him around here, just because he was that influential in the soccer family,” she said.
Oneida City School District Athletic Director Bert Conklin said McCormick’s heroic death exemplifies the type of person he was.
“Whether it was his kids or anybody he knew I think would have been something that Dale would have done and just shows the type of person that he was and without question just, we’re going to miss him,” Conklin said, according to WSYR-TV.
His son wrote on a Facebook page his father was his “best friend” and “hero.”
“The best dad I could’ve asked for. He’s been my motivation forever, and will keep on being that,” Jaden wrote, syracuse.com reported.
“I have a piece of him living inside of me forever and always, and I will always cherish that. I miss him more than I have ever missed anything ever. I love you bud. miss you more and more every second.”
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