School statement: Coach killed in crash ‘touched thousands of lives’

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Brian Hawkins

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 24, 2014) – An Indianapolis high school volleyball coach died after a horrific crash on the east side Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Marion County Coroner’s Office, preliminary results show Brian Hawkins, 44, died after his Ford Edge hit a bridge support head-on in the 900 block of South Emerson Avenue Tuesday. Chief Deputy Coroner Alfarena Ballew later clarified that Hawkins’ identification was tentative and said positive identification could “take up to several days.”

The crash happened around 12:30 p.m. Indianapolis Fire Department crews said the vehicle burst into flames after the crash. It took firefighters about 15 minutes to put out the fire.

Hawkins coached volleyball at Scecina Memorial High School in Indianapolis. Hawkins is a lifelong resident of the east side who graduated from Little Flower Catholic School and Howe High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from IUPUI.

Hawkins coached at Scecina for 19 years, according to his school biography. He also coached at the national and regional club levels and played on the semipro level.

The school released the following statement Wednesday:

Today, Scecina Memorial High School mourns the death of a valued and committed member of our staff and community, Mr. Brian Hawkins.

Mr. Hawkins began serving as a full-time teacher and coach at Scecina Memorial High School in 1995. As a Physical Education and Health teacher for over 19 years, he touched thousands of lives through his highly personalized, professional approach to teaching. As Head Volleyball Coach, he led the Lady Crusaders to numerous tournament, conference, and sectional championships, while encouraging his players to excel as athletes, students, and young women.

Scecina Memorial President, Joe Therber, remembers Mr. Hawkins’ arrival to Scecina in 1995. “I knew Brian as a colleague and friend for over 25 years. He was a wonderful and dedicated educator and a talented coach. I, along with the entire Scecina community, will miss him dearly,” said Therber.

Today, the school day began with an all-staff meeting and student assembly. The school has arranged for guidance counselors and social workers from Scecina Memorial High School and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis to actively attend to the needs of our students and staff. Members of the school’s volleyball team are receiving special attention and support throughout the day, as are students enrolled in Mr. Hawkins’ classes. We will continue to provide counselling and support services for students and staff as needed.

This afternoon, Scecina Memorial will hold an all-school prayer service in the school gymnasium. All after-school athletics and activities have been cancelled for Wednesday, September 24, 2014.

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The crash was at the same spot where a Lighthouse Charter School bus crashed in March 2012, killing a driver and a student.