Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ardrey Kell baseball coach loses his best friend

Ardrey Kell baseball coach Hal Bagwell lost his father this morning.

Kerry Thomas Bagwell Sr. was 75. He lived in Charlotte and is survived by his wife, Barbara. The couple have three children -- 42-year-old Hal, 44-year-old Tommy and 33-year-old Beth. They have seven grandchildren.

"He was my best friend," Bagwell said Thursday morning. "He never missed a game. I remember I lost the first game I ever coached in 1992 and he told me, 'Son, there will be better days.'"

The family is planning a funeral for Saturday. Coach Bagwell said he planned to coach in Friday's game with South Mecklenburg at Ardrey Kell.

Normally that would be emotional enough for Bagwell, who graduated from South Meck and led the Sabres to state championship final as a coach in 1999 and 2005. Now, the game will mean even more to him.

"My dad would want me to be there," Bagwell said. "He wouldn't want me to miss anything."

-- The Observer obtained a copy of a letter Bagwell recently wrote to his father on his birthday last month. It is reprinted here with permission:

February 18, 2010


I want to let you know how much you mean to me! As you well know, I have a difficult time actually saying it.

Let me start by saying that you are a great father. Dad, I love you very much. I could not have asked for more from you and I hope that I can be the same positive influence on Jake and Alexis as you have been to me.

You are the reason for the small successes I have achieved at this point in my lifetime. I use you, and what you have taught me, in my everyday life. Very rarely is there a day when I don’t use YOU as positive example to my players and students.

They all know very well who you are. I model my planning and organization after you. You are the hardest working man I have ever seen and I want to be just like you. As a matter of fact, you have taught me so much that this letter does not do the justice you deserve. You are my role model and you are a great man. I am confident that the people you have come across in your lifetime feel the same way…you have a phenomenal gift with people!

Thanks for always being there for me. I know I can count on you! Who in the world would be there in a meaningless junior high football game…my coaching debut, in the middle of the week when your work schedule was demanding! You were and, by the way, we lost. But you made me feel like a king with your words of wisdom and compassion and I have never forgotten it! You made me a better coach right then and there.

You gave me the confidence to become a State Champion which could not have been possible without you dad. So….my greatest influence whether it is coaching or the way I raise my children, is Kerry Bagwell, my father and mentor. I strive to be the man you ARE and will do so the rest of my life, promise! Thanks DAD! Please keep fighting and by the way HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!

Your Loving Son,



Anonymous said...

Bagwell has been arrogant, a bully and a liar in my dealings with him.