SARASOTA, Fla. (FOX 13) - The Sarasota High School community is grieving the loss of their new wrestling coach after he died suddenly from an apparent heart attack.
Tracy Lee, 51, died soon after a wrestling match Saturday. Before being hired for the job, he was an attorney.
Those who knew him at the school and in the courtroom say he was a family man who loved horses and always kept an active lifestyle, so the news that he suffered a heart attack came as a shock.
Kelly Shaefer said his last conversation with his friend was to congratulate him on his new position.
“He was on the wrestling team at Sarasota when we went to school together. He was a great wrestler and wrestled competitively, and so for him to go full circle and come all the way around and be the coach of Sarasota High School was a huge deal to him,” said Shaefer.
On Saturday, Lee took his Sarasota High School wrestlers to West Palm Beach for the Sunshine State Games, an athletic competition for all ages. Lee wrestled in an event.
“I’ll be honest with you. We’re the same age and he’s in three times better shape than I am. So the very first thing I thought was, ‘My goodness, how can that happen?’ He literally just weighed in for a wrestling match,” said Shaefer.
By Monday, Lee's obituary page was filled with messages of love and support for his family.
Bill becket wrote, “Tracy just had a way of giving and giving of himself, and never running out of himself to give.”
And Greg Zitani wrote, “Tracy was a friend, first and foremost, the kind who seemed not to know the word 'no,' and a colleague over the years.”
When FOX 13 spoke to Zitani, he described Lee as a gentleman in the courtroom.
“He loved the law, and he was very passionate about representing and helping people,” said Zitani.
That’s the kind of giving legacy those who knew Lee said he leaves behind.
“He was just the kind of guy you could depend on,” said Shaefer.
Lee leaves behind a young daughter.
He was looking for an assistant coach for the wrestling team before he died.