The Maypearl Independent School District is mourning the loss of its long-time head coach and teacher Brian Bilbrey.

Bilbrey, a baseball, varsity football and powerlifting coach and science teacher, passed away at 41 on Oct. 25 after “a fierce battle with cancer,” according to the district. He worked in special education over the past year, the district confirmed.

"The loss is tremendous, not only to the district  but the community of Maypearl," said Superintendent Ritchie Bowling, who worked with Bilbrey for four years. "Coach Bilbrey was a very good man. He touched the lives of many here and those that have graduated."

“For those he coached, taught, worked with and worked for, he will always be remembered as a great man and role model,” the district posted on Facebook. “He set the standard for loving and caring for his students and all of those around him. He touched the lives of thousands. He will never be forgotten… Maypearl ISD was blessed to have him be a part of our family for such a long time. Rest In Peace, Coach Bilbrey.”

Many people who new Bilbrey and worked with him took to the social media site to share their memories of the head coach and express condolences.

“Makes me so sad,” Bree Averett Carpenter wrote. “Coach Bilbrey was not only a great coach but he was an example to so many kids in Maypearl. Praying for the family.”

“He was an amazing coach and will be missed greatly,” expressed Karen Harris, a former librarian at Lorene Smith Kirkpatrick Elementary. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.”

“Thank you for serving our students with love and direction all of these years,” added Linda Cullum Zwick to the conversation. “It was an honor to know you, young man! God bless your family in the years ahead.”

Bilbrey spent 14 years in education and eight years at Maypearl.

“My mission is to inspire students and to motivate them into fulfilling their potential, while also encouraging a love for science through discovery, engaging, and challenging lessons,” said Bilbrey in a now-removed profile at maypearlisd.org.

The science teacher was born on Nov. 29, 1977, in Dumas, Texas, and grew up in Denison, Texas. He graduated in 1996 from Denison High School where he played baseball and basketball. Bilbrey then attended Brookhaven College to play baseball. He later went to Texas Tech University and graduated in 2002.

Brian is survived by his parents, siblings, nephews, nieces and a host of other relatives and friends.

His funeral service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the First Baptist Church of Denison at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Brian Bilbrey Memorial Scholarship fund at P.O. Box 571, Roanoke, TX 76262.