MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Madison Central High School Community is mourning the unexpected death of Chad Tate, an assistant coach for the girls' basketball team who was far more than a coach for more community members. He primarily worked with 9th graders and middle schoolers before he died Saturday.
“You have a hard time processing something like that, somebody you were talking to earlier in the day and then you get devastating news about them,” said Robert Cooksey, the school’s athletic director.
The news was posted on social media on Saturday, leading to a large response from community members he impacted.
“He was always upbeat, positive, encouraging, and he made the people around him smile and laugh, and that’s something we’ll miss because he always made people happy,” said Brandon Fritz , the school’s principal.
Beyond how he was as a coach, Cooksey said he had a unique ability to build relationships with kids. They were relationships that would last far beyond just a player’s time with Tate as a coach.
“When they are high school kids and middle school kids he’s a coach. When they graduate he becomes a mentor and a friend, somebody you have a relationship with for the rest of your life,” Cooksey said.
He was also an insurance agent in Berea. He leaves behind a wife.