ALDEN, N.Y. (WIVB) - Students, athletes and colleagues are remembering a swimming coach from Alden who died over the weekend. Coach Gary Grant's life was tragically cut short after he got seriously injured doing something he loved to do.
It was a big loss for Alden High School and the community. Late Sunday night longtime swimming coach Gary Grant died, from injuries he got in a bicycle accident during last months Dunkirk triathlon.
Alden High School Senior Kate King said, "It's been an emotional roller coaster since then for everyone that's known him."
King knew Coach Grant very well. She swam on his team for more than two years and was friends with one of his sons.
"Gary coached boys and girls swimming here for nearly 20 years and inspired so many people," said King.
Alden High School Assistant Principal Bill MacCowan said, "He helped them to achieve things that they didn't think was possible. And you watch him, it's not just about swimming, when he was substitute teaching he inspired people to want to be better."
King said, "I'll miss most about him is how much he cares for everyone, and I know in the pool area specifically he would cheer for us and go crazy. He was always there for us when we needed him."
The community is heartbroken, but King says Gary Grant died doing what he loved. He frequently competed in challenging triathlons but what came first was his family.
He leaves behind his wife and three sons and countless friends who will never forget the impact he had on their lives.
The loss reaches beyond Alden and Depew neighborhoods where Gary's family lives. The week of his accident the beloved coach was supposed to start a full-time teaching position in the Letchworth School District, after putting in years of hard work. Grant was 46 years old.
Calling hours for Gary Grant will be Wednesday and Thursday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Cichon Burgosz Funeral Home in Depew. A funeral service will be held Friday morning at 10 a.m. at the Townline Lutheran Church in Alden.
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