Legendary coach touched many lives on and off the field

By Janeajia Green, assistant editor

Former head coach Eddy Peach passed away unexpectedly on Friday. He worked for the AISD for 45 years.

Peach, 76, coached at Lamar from 1970 to his retirement in Feb. 2010. He was the first high school football coach in Texas to win 300 games at the class 5A (now 6A) level.

“He is Arlington. He was always a gentleman and first-class individual. He was a mentor,” AISD athletic director Kevin Ozee said in a Sports Day interview.

Peach was inducted into the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor in July. He had a career record of 316 wins, 126 loses, and 7 ties in his 40 years as a coach.

“Everybody knows Coach Peach as this iconic football coach, but those of us who got to play for him know he was much more than that. He was the consummate builder of men,” Scot Waterbury, 1988-1990 teams, said.

For 13 consecutive years, Peach led the varsity football team to the state playoffs. In 1990, the Vikings finished second in the title game with Aldine. In 2000 and 2003, the teams finished in the top four as state semifinalists.

“He taught us how to be respectful of each other. Respectful of the game. Respectful of our teachers, coaches, and parents. Be respectful for life. Have a positive impact on life, not just on the football field, but in life in general,” former Lamar Viking and NFL player Mitch Willis said.

Eddy Peach leaves behind his two sons, Scott Peach, who coaches at Arlington High, and Shawn Peach, who coaches at Corpus Christi Moody High School; and wife, former Lamar English teacher and department chair, Debbie. They also have grandchildren.

For their combined service of 81 years, the AISD honored the couple with the naming of a north Arlington elementary school in 2016.

“What football coach in America has an elementary school named after him?” Ozee said. “They were so deserving of the honor. Eddy will be greatly missed.”

Visitation for Coach Peach will be from 6 t0 8 p.m. on Wednesday at Moore Funeral Home Chapel, 1219 N. Davis Dr. Memorial services will be at 10 a.m. on Thursday at Lamar Baptist Church, 1000 W, Lamar Blvd.