BRISTOL, Va. - Monday was a somber day at John Battle High School today as teachers, faculty and students remembered one of their own.
Coach and Athletic Director Kevin Perrigan lost his battle with cancer on Sunday after nearly a year of fighting. "He was one of the best coaches I've ever known," said Daphne Hawkins, basketball player for Perrigan.
Coach Perrigan was a face at John Battle High School that most everyone knew; when he was diagnosed with cancer, students and faculty fought the disease with him. "When one of us is hurting, family really pulls together and I saw that here at John Battle and throughout the community," said Larry Booher, teacher at John Battle.
However, they weren't the only ones -- rival schools also chipped in to help. "They would donate money for their schools, donate to the Perrigan family for medical needs," said Hawkins.
All because of the impact Perrigan made on everyone he came in contact with. "He was always putting other people before himself and he's just always been that way," said Steve Kinder.
"He was passionate about life, passionate about coaching, passionate about teaching," said Booher.
And passionate about basketball. Hawkins told us he supported his girls team until the last day. "I can remember a couple of games, he was so sick but he came and he sat on the bench. He coached us still and he would even try to yell," she said.
Hawkins says even though her favorite coach will no longer be there physically, he will live on inside of them. "During every practice and every game we will think, 'what would Coach P. want us to do?'" she said.
We spoke with Perrigan's daughter Kaylee. "This community has been a blessing. From our very close friends to acquaintances to strangers, we have had an outpouring of love and cannot be more thankful for each and every person," she said.
It's a love reciprocated by those who knew the coach. "We love Coach P. and we love his family. Our thoughts and our prayers are with his family," said Booher.
A scholarship fund has been established in Coach Perrigan's name for anyone wishing to make a donation. If you'd like to donate, checks can be made to John Battle High School with "Attn. Pam Buchanan and Coach P's Sunny Side."
The Fellowship Chapel Church will also be holding a benefit concert featuring The Hoppers for Coach Kevin Perrigan's Family. All donations will be given to the family to help with medical expenses. It will take place on Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 5:30.
For more information on funeral arrangements, click here.