The Lufkin ISD community is mourning the loss of a second coach they held dear in the last year alone.
According to the Lufkin Daily News, Wille "Axe Man" Ross spent more than 50 years working in education before he hung his cleats this year. Ross, 80, coached for the Lufkin Dunbar Tigers before integration and then for the Lufkin Panthers.
Lufkin Superintendent Roy Knight released the following statement on Ross.
It is with the greatest sadness that Lufkin ISD and our entire community mourns the passing of our own Willie(Axman) Ross. Coach Ross served the children of Lufkin for over 50 years. He was mentor, friend, advisor, and companion to literally thousands during his career. He helped see Lufkin ISD through its toughest days of integration into the twenty-first century of greatness for all children, black, white, or brown.
He taught us all that the only color that mattered was the color purple!
He is a true legend to all in our community.
I will miss my friend of 36 years.
Superintendent, Lufkin ISD
Lufkin Head Coach John Outlaw died from a heart attack back on December 23, 2011 after a morning jog.