Sanger High School celebrating the life of beloved coach

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The basketball court at Sanger High, is a familiar place for Jean Nicholson and her son, Tom. (KFSN)

The basketball court at Sanger High is a familiar place for Jean Nicholson and her son, Tom.

"I've been on a lot of benches, watched a lot of games," said Nicholson.

At the center of every game was her husband -- Coach Dean Nicholson, a leader of the Apaches for 38 years, starting in 1951.

"We found happiness here."

They also found success, with five championships on the court -- seven on the football field and another two in golf. Coach Nicholson was a man of many sports and he started every game with a prayer.

"He'd say, 'bring your hands in. Come dear Lord, be our guest, may this game be our best. Amen.'"

Tom played ball for his dad and it is the lessons he learned on the hardwood he remembers the most fondly.
"The courage to continue both in trials and tribulations but to also be a humble winner--to learn from every win," said Nicholson.

The most trying time for him and his mom is the day Coach Nicholson passed away.

"He meant a lot."

"You know it's--he was truly a great dad, a great coach, great teacher. I'm sorry."
In memory of his accomplishments, his service to the community and the country during World War II.

The high school is dedicating the North Gym to Coach Nicholson.

"He just loved Sanger and this is a precious ending."

It is a tribute to a man who was loved by many.

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community-eventsbasketballsangerhigh schoolSangerCalifornia
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