Greater Sacramento is mourning a beloved track and field and freshman football coach who died suddenly in truly horrific circumstances after he rode his bike into a metal gate.
As reported by the Sacramento Bee, 59-year-old Sacramento (Ca.) Rio Linda High track and field coach and multimedia teacher Marion Adams was pronounced dead on Tuesday shortly after he accidentally impaled himself with a metal swing gate that opened up the school’s parking lot. Adams was reportedly riding away from his team’s morning practice on his bike when he briefly looked behind him to say goodbye to a student.
By the time he turned around, Adams could do little but brace for the impact of the metal fence arm into his body. While the coach was immediately rushed to nearby Mercy San Juan hospital, two surgeries to treat a bevy of internal injuries suffered in the collision could not save his life.
According to those who knew the coach well, he was one of the school’s most colorful personalities, often wearing Mickey Mouse ears in school halls.
"Marion was the most popular and nicest man on campus; just a great guy," Mike Morris, the varsity football coach and athletic director at Rio Linda told the Bee. "It's a huge loss, devastating to our community. He's an example of how great Rio Linda is as a school and community. He couldn't wait to come back here. This place meant everything to him."
Indeed, according to Adams’ brother, David Adams, the tragically departed coach left a much higher paying job to return to Rio Linda because he held such a deep love for his alma mater.
That appreciation was clearly reciprocated by a school community that flocked to Mercy San Juan hospital while the coach fought for his life, clogging halls and waiting for any good news.
Sadly, reassuring words never came, though David Adams said doctors reported that he fought much harder than most patients who suffered such a wound would have. That has left Adams’ family, both in a literal and figurative sense at Rio Linda, to mourn his passing far too soon.
"I know people say this a lot about people, that they're great when we lose them, but Marion Adams was a wonderful man and teacher,” Terry Ray, the Rio Linda boys basketball coach told the Bee.