|Jaguars QB Gray to play despite death of father|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 23 August 2007 16:44|
Otis Gray, who coached for 13 seasons at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., died Thursday from complications due to colon cancer. He was 62.
``This is a sad day for me and my family,'' Gray said in a statement issued by the team before the game. ``I'll play tonight with a heavy heart, but I want to play because that is what my dad would want me to do. I want to play for my dad and my family. Tell my family I love them and I'll be home soon.''
In 13 years at Dillard, Otis Gray had a 107-54 record and produced several college and NFL players. Dillard made the playoffs from 1983-90, winning state championships in '86 and '89.
St. Louis Rams receiver Isaac Bruce, who played on the 1989 state championship team, said Gray was a father figure to him and other players.
``He made you respect authority like you should as a youngster,'' Bruce told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. ``He was in the process of making young boys mature into men and he did the same for the young ladies. Everyone respected him.''
Gray retired in 1991, but returned to the school to coach for one season in 2006.
Besides, his son Quinn, Gray is survived by his wife Pauline and four daughters.