Husband. Father. Grandfather. Teacher. Principal. Champion. Coach.
Keith Koerner was a lot of things. He was an icon of Beatty, Nevada. He gave his life to that town. He did so many things when he lived there. He coached many sports. He taught. He was the athletic director. He was the principal. Sometimes he cut the grass on the football field, painted the lines before games, and did every thankless job that needed to be done. He put up with so much crap that few people should ever have to put up with. In the end, he kept the mob in line. If you’re reading this, you were probably part of the mob.
Coach Koerner was a lion. A warrior. His ferocity was legendary.
It’s only now, years later, that I truly appreciate all that he did for me and for Beatty. When I visited there recently, I missed him very much.
I want to mention that before he came to Beatty, he was an amazing athlete—a star football player and a very fast runner. With two metal knees, he was still a good basketball player in the 1990’s and had a great jump shot. I wonder how many thousands of hours he spent in the old gym with us after practice when he could have been home with his wife, whom he loved very much. She was my fourth grade teacher and one of the most wonderful people in the world. Losing her to breast cancer may have been the worst thing that ever happened to him. He didn’t quit after that. He kept going. He taught us all about courage.
Keith Koerner never stopped teaching. Many of his lessons were tough to learn. Only now do I understand exactly what he was teaching me.
Men like Keith Koerner are needed in this world. Tough men.
He will be missed.
Beatty High School Class of 1992