Beloved Beckman baseball coach being remembered as inspiration - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Beloved Beckman baseball coach being remembered as inspiration

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It's a somber day at Beckman Catholic High School.

Students and staff are mourning the death of their beloved baseball coach, Tom Jenk Jr. He managed the Beckman Trailblazers to five state titles over 42 seasons. 

"Coach is in a better place," said baseball player, Jackson Bennett. "It was a really hard road for him, and I'm happy he's at peace now though."

On Sunday, the legendary coach lost his battle to brain cancer. He was 64. 

The team dedicated their season to Jenk. It inspired them to win the Iowa Class 2A state championship.

"From the beginning of the season, we said that we were gonna play the season for coach Jenk, being that he couldn't be there through all the games," said baseball player, Connor McDermott. "We were hoping he would be able to get to more games, but unfortunately he wasn't able to."

Off the field, Jenk taught countless students social studies for more than 40 years. 

"He took a lot of interest in students lives. His social studies classes were filled with lots of stories that always had a life lesson built into them, very, very dedicated," said longtime friend, and Beckman guidance counselor, Marilyn Noel.

Those life lessons are something his students and players will cherish forever.

"He uses that analogy with baseball all the time," said Bennett. "Baseball, you're gonna fail, more than you succeed, but that's what makes you a better person, that's why sports are so good. You learn how to deal with stuff, you learn how to bounce back."

Those who knew Jenk said he will be greatly missed, and he was so much more than a great baseball coach.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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