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Bishop Kelley honors the life of Coach Dan Schmitz

Posted at 10:31 PM, Jan 06, 2023

TULSA, Okla. — The Bishop Kelley Community gathered Friday to remember one of their own. They held a vigil in honor of their beloved teacher and tennis coach, Dan Schmitz.

A big loss for the Bishop Kelley community who said Coach Schmitz was loved by his students and colleagues.

“We give thanks to God for his life, and the way that he incorporated his gifts and talents just to glorify the Lord as a teacher, as a coach, as a mentor, as a friend, as a colleague," Duy Ngyuen, Bishop Kelley Chaplan said.

With hymns and anecdotes, friends, family and the Bishop Kelley community came together to honor the life of tennis coach and teacher, Dan Schmitz. Terry Stupp worked with him for the past 12 years.

“Dan and I coached tennis together. He was my assistant coach," Stupp said.

Stupp said he's still trying to process the unexpected loss of his friend and colleague. They had just seen each other at a faculty gathering right before Christmas.

“He was happy, gregarious, joking, laughing, telling stories and all of that," Stupp said.

They had even made plans for the upcoming season.

“We talked about what we were going to do with our tennis program and how we would divide it up, who was going where," Stupp said.

Stupp said Schmitz loved tennis, but he also had a huge heart for the students.

“He’s seen every student in the past five years who has come to Bishop Kelley," he said.

Colleagues said Schmitz didn't just touch the lives of his students and colleagues, but everyone he met.

“I remember very vividly his hug. You know, I’m a small guy. Standing next to him it was like David and Goliath and then you’d give him a big hug, but it was just so warm," Chaplan said.

As his memory lives on forever, so does his legacy, one that will be remembered for years to come.

“We’ve established the Dan Schmitz endowed fund for tuition assistance here at Bishop Kelley to help new students come and experience Bishop Kelley in a place that Dan loved," Stupp said.

The school said they made councilors and priests available to students this week as they processed the great loss.

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