ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Albany athletic community is mourning the death of Paul Eames.
The longtime athletic director and coach died Monday at the age of 84.
For those who played for Paul Eames, they say he was more than a coach.
He was a role model.
During his 25 years of working as athletic director at the Albany Recreation Department, Paul Eames touched the lives of many children.
Former Albany Recreation Department director Brockey Brock says at age six he wanted to grow up to be Paul Eames.
Brock said. "I was 6 years old and he let me play in the sandlot program at Crown Hill Cemetery. I wasn't supposed to play but I was a big old chunky boy and he let me catch."
Brock says Paul Eames will be remembered as father, coach, athletic director and most importantly mentor to those he coached at the rec department, American Legion and at the high school level.
Brock said. "He taught so many people today who are so successful all over the south of being competitive. Having an edge. I think that has helped them in business too."
Paul Eames coached more than just baseball during his 25 years at the recreation department.
Brock believes Eames' coached teams won close to 50 state and national titles.
Many of his players went on to pro ranks like Ray Knight, Harold Breeden and Harry Spilman.
Others went on to play college baseball.
Brock said. "Paul didn't have an education but he would joke about it. He was so thrilled to see so many people go to college too. Not just the professional ballplayers who played for him."
Paul Eames inspired some of his players to go into coaching.
Crisp Academy's Brett Freeman dedicated the Wildcats state title to his high school coach.
Brett Freeman said. "I was paying attention. That is what I have tried to bring here. a lot of the things we do here are things I learned playing for him. He has been a big part of what we do up here and how he shaped my coaching career."
Albany honored Eames by naming the baseball complex on Blaylock Street for him after its completion.
Brockey Brock says Paul Eames never wanted the credit for all the good he did which Brock says made Eames a hero.
Brock "A hero to me is one who never looks for credit for things and Paul never did. He deserves all the credit in the world and it is sad that we have lost him."
Visitation is Thursday at 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Kimbrell-Stern Funeral Directors.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday at Byne Baptist Church.
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