The sporting community in Normandy and beyond is in mourning after the loss of a beloved sports coach.
Norman High School’s head athletic coach, Russ Schuchman, died on Thursday.
Schuchman had worked for the Normandy public schools for 29 years.
“It’s an extremely sad day for us,” Scott said. Beck, director of student services at Norman Public Schools. “It’s a horrible loss. It is a tragic loss. »
Around 6:50 a.m. Tuesday, Schuchman was traveling westbound on Highway 9 near 72nd Avenue SE when he swerved to avoid an object in the roadway, Normandy police said.
Schuchman’s vehicle left the road and rolled over several times.
Police said Schuchman was thrown from the vehicle. He was not wearing a seat belt.
“It’s a nightmare. It’s just a terrible situation,” Beck said. “Our hearts, above all, break for his wife, sons and family.”
Schuchman has advocated for sports medicine and athlete safety at the high school level across the state and beyond, colleagues said.
Many colleagues and students, current and former, have taken to social media to discuss Schuchman’s impact on their lives.
Beck said now NFL players, coaches and other kids who have done amazing things have all come through Schuchman’s training room.
“Russ had such a kind and caring heart,” Beck said. “At every event Russ was there and watched over our kids and watched over our athletes. Whenever they needed something, Russ was the guy who was there. He has always done so in a spirit of love and care and with the utmost professionalism.
“He set the bar pretty high,” said Leander Walker, president of the Oklahoma Athletic Trainers’ Association. “It’s really difficult to replace someone of this stature after spending 29 years in the same environment. He touched generations of students.
Nearly three decades of love and support that were not taken for granted a single day, colleagues said.
“On behalf of this community, parents, athletes and students,” Beck said. “For your love and care, for your extraordinary selflessness, for your extraordinary service and your extraordinary loyalty, thank you and we love you.”
Schuchman’s funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Dec. 14 at St. Thomas More in Norman.
A student created a GoFundMe page for Schuchman which has already raised over $21,000.