TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — High School football coaches no matter where you find them all share one common thing. Their desire to make the kids they coach better people not only on the field, but in life. For Joey Striplin this was his mission.
“It never failed. We always met an old friend or a coach or an old player that came up and greeted him and made sure that they took time away from their personal time to come up and greet him and thank him for who he is," says Joey's childhood friend Joe Graganella.
Coaching and mentoring was in his blood, passed down from his dad and brother Sam and carried on to his nephew Jimbob. But Joey started making an impact in the Big Bend long before he put on his coaching hat.
“I could remember when he was playing, excellent athlete, a real good thinker under pressure, played quarterback," Jefferson High head football coach Ira Reynolds said. "Just an all around great guy.”
“And he was a competitor, I mean he wanted to do well but he didn’t get down if he had a bad day, a bad throw or a bad practice," adds longtime Florida High head football coach Mike Hickman.
Everytime you saw Joey Striplin it was rare not to see a smile on his face. And when you’d see him it was hard to keep one off yours.
“The jobs he took on were challenging and the reason he was successful was because he approached coaching like he did his life. Positive, up-tempo, and took care of his kids," says Hickman.
“The thing I remember was his fight. And he had a battle cry, ‘lets go!’ And it didn’t matter if he was on the field or battling some of his health issues he never gave up," Graganella adds.
And that is how Joey Striplin will forever be remembered.