Feb. 13—Tippecanoe High School is mourning the loss of long-time soccer coach Scott Downing this week.
According to THS director of athletics Kregg Creamer, Downing passed away Feb. 9 after dealing with an illness.
"Scott has touched many lives through soccer," Creamer said in an email that was also posted on the school's athletics website. "He has coached, trained, or mentored hundreds of players in the community and surrounding area. His leadership can never be undervalued. His smile will never be forgotten."
A 1992 Tipp grad, Downing captained the Red Devils for two seasons and was all-state twice, including being named the Ohio Division II Player of the Year as a senior.
He was also a two-time captain at the University of Dayton before returning to become an assistant coach and teacher at Tipp in 2000.
His teams went 268-52-27 during Downing's tenure as head coach from 2005-21, a stretch that included a state championship in 2019 and runner-up finish the following season.
"We have truly lost one of the greatest human beings," Creamer said. "I for one will always cherish the five years that I was privileged to know Scott Downing. He brought so much joy to all of our lives. I was proud to call him Coach. I was even more proud to call him a friend. Scott will be missed but will live on forever through Tippecanoe High School and Tippecanoe soccer."
Downing's health forced him to step away from coaching permanently prior to the 2022 season, leaving the program in the hands of head coach Joel Slyman and assistant Ian Porto, both Tipp alumni who played for Downing.
"Scott was all about the player," Slyman said in a phone interview. "He was all about getting to know guys off the field. He was all about the relationship building that went outside of soccer. And I think that is something that we're continuing to attempt to do because of the culture that he has built and is still building, so the credit goes to him in regards to the culture of how to treat kids and how to believe in kids and how to love on kids.
"That is something that Scott was so good at was loving you to make you love the game, and there's a reason why Ian and I are still coaching it's because of him. I played for him and Ian played for him. We want to coach because of Scott Downing."
A celebration of life is planned for Downing at Tippecanoe High School on Feb. 25 from 1:30-4 p.m., but Porto said he and Slyman have already been sharing Downing's memory with many people since the release of the news he passed.
"Scott in our minds is synonymous with soccer in the Dayton area, really for parts of five decades now," Porto said.
"Scott's web of influence within the soccer community, let alone as a teacher as well, is incredible. And I know that that part of his legacy surely is not only the number of lives that he impacted and touched as a coach, but the thing we love so much about Scott and are trying to celebrate is the relationships that he built with so many of those people.
"I think Scott would, would be proud to be remembered as someone who loved to laugh, and someone who cared about the people that he worked with and the people that he coached."
The Red Devils claimed their second state title with a 2-0 victory over Richfield Reserve in November, and Downing was able to be in attendance at Historic Crew Stadium.
"I think for a variety of reasons it was he wasn't around quite as much physically, but certainly his his spirit was at the heart of of all the success that we had this year," Porto said. "We've said a bunch of times today, if people look in in the record books, they're gonna see Scott was was only a coach in 2019, but to us he's a two-time state champion."