A beloved Midlothian High School football coach passed away last weekend after battling cancer, Fox 4 News reported.
Coach Clif White, 37, a popular football coach for Midlothian High, passed away on October 15 after a six-month battle with a rare form of bladder cancer.
White was diagnosed with Stage IV urachal cancer in May, a rare form of cancer that develops in the urachal, a structure normally only present during development in the womb. Cancer cells can spread from the urachal to other nearby organs, such as the bladder.
White continued to coach his freshmen football team and assisted with coaching the varsity football team, all while undergoing three rounds of chemotherapy and multiple surgeries. Even as his health deteriorated, White, ever dedicated to his team, still showed up to work.
White celebrated his birthday with friends and colleagues Saturday evening, just hours before he passed away in his sleep.
According to the Midlothian High School Panther Newsletter, the community was set to celebrate White’s birthday Sunday in the MHS arena.
However, instead of celebrating White’s birthday, students, faculty, and community members arrived at the arena Sunday to celebrate White’s life and to grieve together. Midlothian’s mayor declared October 16 as Coach Clif White Day.
“His spirit will live on in our locker room for both football and softball,” Doug Wendel, the head football coach at Midlothian High, told the media outlet. “He’s been here 12 years. Just a special, special gift,” said Wendel.
Wendel said White is an inspiration to the entire city of Midlothian.
“Just been a beacon of light to our students and faculty and athletes representing Midlothian High School really well,” said Wendel.
Coach White and his wife spoke to Fox 4 News just a few weeks ago on homecoming night.
“Do what you’re supposed to do, have fun doing it, and we’ll party at the end. Yes sir. I love every one of y’all,” White told his team.
The Midlothian community, which rallied around the White family for months during his illness and raised money for his medical expenses, continues to support the White family now during their loss.
“I think he’s brought the best out in Ellis County and Midlothian, Texas, and Midlothian High School,” said Wendel.
Midlothian, undefeated this season, has a home game on Friday. The team plans to play and honor coach White along the way.
A birthday tribute to coach Clif White can be seen here.