Tift County High School coach remembered by colleague and friend

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By: Bobby Pitevint | WALB News 10
August 5, 2019

TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) -- A Tift County High School basketball and football coach is being remembered by loved ones.

Some in Tifton say Coach Anthony Bateman is “irreplaceable."

“He just wore so many hats and was willing to do whatever necessary in so many different areas in the system that it’s like loosing 10 people,” Chris Wade, former Tift County High School head basketball coach, said. "He was probably the most decent human being I’ve ever been around from the standpoint of how he treated people, how he approached life. I know in six years I’ve never heard a ill word towards him.”

Bateman was an assistant basketball and football coach and administrative assistant at Tift County High.

Bateman suffered a heart attack on Saturday around 4:30 p.m. during a basketball tournament in Tifton.

Johnathan Judy, with Tift County Schools, said Bateman had been with the high school for around 30 years.

Judy reflected on several impacts that Bateman made on the Tift community.

“Coach Bateman was a part of three state basketball championship teams as an assistant coach," Judy said. "The team that he was a part of in the 90s was inducted into the Tift County Hall of Fame, so Anthony Bateman is a Tift County Hall of Fame member. The 2014 team that he was an assistant coach on is scheduled to go into the Hall of Fame this year.”

Wade fondly remembered his time with Bateman.

“Me and him sat beside each other on the bench for six years and you know I have tons of stories I could tell but I don’t really have a favorite," Wade said. "Just being around him in general was a pleasure. He always brought joy when he came around to the room and to all the people that were in the room.”

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