BOAZ, Ala. -- The community of Boaz is mourning the loss of one of their own. Former Boaz High School head football coach Eric Whaley ended his fight with cancer Sunday afternoon.
Whaley missed the entire 2015 season to undergo treatment and was declared cancer free last June. He returned to coach the Pirates in 2016. He resigned in February after a return of the cancer he had been battling for years. Whaley originally joined the school's football staff in 2000 as the defensive coordinator. He assumed the head coaching role in 2013.
Former Boaz City Schools Superintendent Mark Isley confirmed the news of Whaley's death.
Dear Family and Friends of Coach Eric Whaley,
As my Hero & Coach embraced Jesus earlier today, we who are left behind have been given a clear message by Coach Whaley that I want to encourage the family with tonight: Focus, Faith, Finish.
Focus on Jesus;
Keep the Faith;
and Finish Strong.
In other words, let us live our lives to the fullest everyday in the same manner that Coach Whaley demonstrated and may the Peace of God be with us all.
We love you Coach and shall see you again where there will be no more good-byes.