'He wanted to help people': Teacher, former football star killed in crash

Published: Oct. 17, 2019 at 8:03 PM EDT
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Some names are eternalized on the green of the gridiron.

In Breathitt County, Rich McCune is one of those names.

"There's not a more kind-hearted person in the world than Rich McCune," said his friend Brendon Miller.

The two grew up together. McCune and Miller had been friends since the fourth grade.

"He was such a big man, but a such a kind and gentle man as well," he added.

McCune is a name that packs some power in Breathitt County. Not only was he a first-team all-stater, but McCune was also the first Division I signing to come from Breathitt County.

He headed to the University of Kentucky after graduating in 1988. His impact is still felt every day in Breathitt County.

"Rich's 62 was the only retired here at Breathitt County," added Miller.

McCune's 62 jersey and McCune's name alongside many trophies hang on display in the halls of the school.

He loved the Friday night lights, but as he grew older, he found a new passion: teaching.

"You know that's what he was called to do, he really loved kids," Miller added.

"With Rich, he didn't think of teaching as a job," said Principal David Bolen.

Bolen started working alongside McCune during the last couple of years at George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester.

"This was his calling was to work with kids, and particularly those kids at-risk kids. I think that's the way I'll always remember him and the fact he always had a smile on his face," Bolen added.

Rich's life was undoubtedly taken too soon, but to his family and friends, he will always be remembered as a man who gave his all in whatever he did.

"I mean Rich, if he was your friend, he was your friend. and he was there to help you and all of us remembered him and he's a loved individual just for the fact that he loved people and he wanted to help people," Miller added.

We do not have funeral arrangements for McCune.