GWINN, Mich. (WJMN) — On January 22nd, Gwinn High School head football coach Dion Brown died at the age of 37.

Friday night was the first sporting event for the Modeltowners since his passing and they started the boy’s basketball game off with a moment of silence.

A few of the men he mentored spoke to Local 3 about the influence he had on them.

Tucker Tyler, Class of 2019, Gwinn High School said, “Dion was more than a football coach to me. He was the guy I talked to when I needed someone to talk too. Whenever I needed someone he was there and he’s just a big influencer in my life and pretty much anybody else’s in this school. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him because he’s just that great of a person.”

Shafaar Evans, Sophomore, Gwinn High School said, “Dion’s life lessons that he taught me was to always be strong and be positive no matter what happens. Either you live or you die with them and it just always happens like that. That’s what Dion always told me was to be strong and be positive.”

A celebration of life for Coach Brown will take place tomorrow at the Gwinn High School gymnasium. Doors open at 4 pm, the celebration begins at 5 pm followed by a reception in the cafeteria.