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City of Lynch dedicates park to local coaching legend

West Main Park will now be known as ‘The Jerry L. Edwards Park’
Published: Sep. 19, 2020 at 9:19 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2020 at 10:59 AM EDT
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LYNCH, Ky. (WYMT) - A local coaching legend’s name is now forever engraved on signs surrounding what was known as West Main Park in Harlan County.

It was the emotion that Jerry L. Edwards displayed as he addressed dozens of community members on Saturday that made the occasion all that more memorable for those in attendance.

“Coach E as he’s more affectionately known by his students and former players and most people in the community has been a fixture in the Tri-City area for many years," Edwards' former student, David C. Dixon, said.

For John Gilliam, the inspiration came from a college English paper he wrote in 2013, and following a Facebook post of his that went viral, was granted the opportunity to make that aspiration come true.

“It feels great and it’s just all about hope and there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel," Gilliam said of the ceremony. "We’re just spreading love around.”

As Dixon said, it is a rarity that there has been a time during his life in which Edwards did not have an influence.

“He’s just always been in my life," Dixon said. "It’s real hard to remember a time that Coach E wasn’t there.”

With other past remnants in Lynch now gone, Dixon finds solace in knowing that the park, and the signs that bear Edwards' name, will live on.

“A lot of these former coaches and things, their names are sometimes forgotten," Dixon said. "But to know that Jerry’s name will live on here on this park for many years and kids will be like ‘well who was Coach Edwards?’ and parents will be able to reflect on who he was and what he meant to them.”

Another chapter in the legend of “Coach E” now in the books.

Copyright 2020 WYMT. All rights reserved.

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