TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) - Deshler High School is mourning the death of basketball coach Brioni Rutland.
“He was a big brother. A father figure to many of our players and many of our students,” said head basketball coach Brian Pounders.
Rutland was an all-star athlete when he was a student at Deshler. He graduated from the school in 2004. For the last five years, he coached with Pounders. They both led the team to success on and off the court.
"We made the playoffs all five years he was my assistant,” said Pounders.
On Monday, Rutland was honored before the first game of the basketball season.
First, with a moment of silence, and then with a custom-made seat cover that will decorate his seat on the court for the rest of the season.
“We wanted to do something that was a reminder that he is always with us. Whether it's a home game or an away game," said Pounders.
According to Rutland’s family, he will be laid to rest on Saturday.