How long did I know Greg Bean?
I honestly couldn’t tell you. At least 20 years? Probably closer to 25.
I remember Greg as an athlete that I covered at Clarion High School where he helped the Bobcats win a rare District 9 title for that school in hoops.
I remember Greg as a student at Clarion University who decided at an early age he wanted to be a coach and pursued that dream with a passion.
I remember Greg as the head coach for a half-decade at Redbank Valley High where he led the Bulldogs to their first District 9 title in 35 years in 2015.
I remember Greg as a college basketball coach who would call or text me every once in a while to see if there were any kids in District 9 (and later in District 10) that he should be considering at one of his three stops at the NCAA Division III level.
But most importantly I remember Greg as one of life’s great human beings.
There have been many remembrances of Greg in the 24 hours or so since we all learned of his untimely passing at the tender age of 37. Posts on Facebook, calls with former coaches, and colleagues of his, stories shared with fellow media members.
I can’t find anyone who had anything bad to say.
Everyone loved Greg, And everyone loved Greg because Greg loved life and he made everyone’s life better because of that love.
I know the next few days, months, and years are going to be hard for those who loved Greg the most. His mom, Gayle, his dad, Terry, his sister, Erin, and his brother-in-law, Evan.
It’s going to be hard for his friends as well. Especially those closest to him. Those who credit him for helping start them down the paths to true love and happiness in relationships. Those who could always count on him when they needed an ear to lean on. And those that just smiled when he reached out to them.
It’s going to be hard on his current and former players, players who he helped shape from boys into men. Players who credit him for who they are today.
I wouldn’t ever dare say that I was as close to Greg as those people. But I will say that Greg touched my life in the ways he touched everyone’s life. He was always someone you were happy to hear from. Always someone you were happy to see do well. Always someone you knew cared when he reached out.
We are all at a loss at how something this tragic could happen to someone so full of life. But, at the same time, we are all so grateful that he touched all of us in one way or another.
Rest in peace, my friend.
MORE ABOUT GREG BEAN
CELEBRATION OF LIFE AND FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR GREG BEAN
Candlelight Vigil – 7 p.m. Sunday, May 7 at Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa.
Visitation – 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 9 at Goble Funeral Home; Clarion, Pa.
Celebration of Life – 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 10 at Redbank Valley High School – New Bethlehem, Pa.
View the complete photo gallery. All photos in the gallery are by Mike Schenelle