Family and friends pay tribute to beloved Fort Worth basketball coach and teacher – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Fort Worth coach John Gales, Sr. died on August 25 at the age of 82. The impact he leaves behind is endless. An English teacher in Fort Worth and a basketball coach, he has helped shape so many lives.
John Gales Jr. is proud to carry his father’s name.
“The most precious priceless thing that he, a father, can give to his son is that father’s name and it’s a good name,” said son John Gales, Jr.
His father’s legacy extends further than he can imagine.
“It makes me tremble in my boots,” Gales said. “My knees are banging. My heart trembles knowing that these are shoes that I have to fill a bit because of the name.”
Besides being a loving role model of a father, the way he lived his life had an impact on his students.
“A father figure to me,” said former student Blake Moorman. “I mean he had a real and positive impact in my life.”
Even as a sixth-grader, Moorman says Gales taught young boys to be gentlemen.
“Men always take their hats off in a building,” Moorman said. “It was at school, in his house, gentlemen don’t do that. So just little life lessons like that, he was always and always positive.”
Gales, Sr broke barriers in 1968 at Trimble Technical High School.
He became the first African-American coach of an integrated basketball team in Fort Worth schools.
He was certainly a history maker who impacted thousands of lives, but nothing more than that of his family.
“God, that’s what he was to me,” Gales said. “A lot of times it’s like how can you know God if you don’t have a father to show you God. I couldn’t see God, but I saw my father.”
All praise is deserving as friends and family say goodbye to a man who was just doing his little bit to make life better.
“He always said it was just your reasonable service, John,” Gales said. “Never let that get to your head. Never go beyond who you are. He said follow my example and my role.”
A role that Gales Jr. plans to follow with a life well lived.