LIBERTY, Mo.—At 63-years-old Tim Nixon devoted more than half of his life to mentoring student-athletes.
Nixon, a Raytown High School and Mizzou graduate, retired as a Liberty Junior High School science teacher in 2011 but kept coaching high school cross country alongside Tim Friston, who is also his pastor.
“What’s really amazing about him is that for thousands of people he was just consistently present and I don’t know how he had the energy or stamina to do that but he was always there,” Friston said.
But that presence was cut short early Monday morning when Nixon suffered a heart attack.
“I feel like I wrestled with that for a few hours before it started to sink in,” Friston said.
The Liberty School District broke the news of Nixon’s passing on Facebook. Comments were flooded with condolences from parents, graduates and others who met Nixon in his 39-year career.
“He was committed to using sport or as a teacher using education to unapologetically invest in the young people and their growth,” Friston said.
For Nixon, it wasn't just being competitive.
“Decades and decades of an unswerving commitment to do that has led us to this place where there’s just an overflow like an outpouring of appreciation for a man who gave his life to loving the lord and to loving people,” Friston said.
Funeral services are set for Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, 1600 North State Route 291.