Remembering a man who changed lives

Dear Editor,

My name is Kyle Galutza and I attended Columbiana Middle School (Class of 2004) and Shelby County High School (Class of 2008). During my time at Columbiana Middle School, I became very close to one of our physical education teachers, coach David Phillips. It has been 10 years since coach Phillips has passed.

He was more than a coach to me. He was a father figure. He made me comfortable as a new student who had just moved to a new town. He taught me to not be too hard on myself, but to also hold myself to a higher standard.

He gave me advice when I needed it the most, advice that I still harbor in my heart to this day. When I wouldn’t open up to my parents, he was the one my parents would ask for help. He was my best friend, and I still consider him my best friend to this day. Most of all, however, he led me to my faith in Christ.

I know he made an impact on my life, and I’m just one man telling you this, but I can guarantee he made an impact on every individual, staff and student, who walked through that building.

I have a Christmas card that he gave me in 2002. It is the only remnant I have left of him, and it is in a picture frame on my nightstand. It is my personal way of remembering him, but I would like others to be reminded of the man he was as well. Thank you for your consideration and time.

Kyle Galutza

Gallatin, Tenn.