STEELTON, Pa. (WHTM) — Steelton is known as the little town with a big heart, but on Friday that heart broke.
Eddie Albert — or Coach Ed — died on Friday. For 44 years, he rarely missed a Steel High football, basketball or baseball game.
“You have a legend of the town — he’s gone. You can’t get him back, but your loved ones — keep them close,” said Coach Ed’s brother, Jason Albert.
He was a force on the court and a father on the sidelines.
“My brother Eddie — boy, I don’t know. I can’t compete. I can only try,” Albert said.
“In football and basketball, we called him our 12th man, 6th man because he always brought a lot of energy wherever he’s at,” said Steelton High football head coach, Andrew Erby.
It was that energy that helped him trail blaze 44 years of coaching youth football, baseball and basketball. He could have gone anywhere, but he stayed in Steelton, specifically in one seat of Steel High’s stands, coaching his players as they got older.
“He was always like, pleasant. He loved to dance. He loved to come out and see me spin. He would get the party started because he’s that type of guy.” Jason Albert said.
“We would always know Coach Ed. He would be dancing wherever he’s at,” Erby said.
At the beginning and end of each football season, Coach Ed would send texts — sometimes multiple pages — to Coach Erby, thanking him for the season.
“He would be the one at the end of the games who would go talk to an opponent or another coach. He just cared about kids and the well being of others, and I thought that was special,” Erby said.
“Him being the big brother that a little brother needs. That’s what I think I’m gonna miss the most,” Albert said.
A memorial service will be held for Coach Ed in Steel High’s gym this Saturday at 3.
He will also be honored during the boy’s basketball game on Friday night.