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Community mourns long-time Auburndale High coach who died from COVID-19

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Posted at 10:54 PM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 23:25:43-05

AUBURNDALE, Fla. — A Polk County community is mourning the loss of a beloved high school coach who passed away after a three-week battle with COVID-19.

Dedicated, giving and hilarious are all words used to describe Paul Green.

“He is a jokester. He’s the person that everybody come to the family reunion to see because they know, they’re going to laugh nonstop,” said Daughter Shanta Green.

He was a teacher and football coach for 43 years at Auburndale High School, which was also his alma mater. Affectionately known by everyone as 'Coach,' he impacted countless lives.

“There was a family during COVID that was running into some difficult times. He helped them get settled, went and got groceries for them. Took them to the house and got them also set with some other services they needed help with,” said Tye Bruno, Principal Auburndale High School.

His death has left this tight knit community heart broken. With many on social media sharing stories about coach.

"He was just always there. Anytime you ever needed something. He was the type of person that you should never have to hesitate to call him because he’s going to give it to you regardless of what it is. Without any question,” Virgil Green his Nephew said.

Green was diagnosed with COVID-19 just one day before he was scheduled to get the vaccine. He died three weeks later on his 66th birthday. His family has this message.

“Just wearing your mask, you’re protecting other people. We have to take it seriously and protect each other. We have this vaccine but we’re still not safe,” said Shanta.

Auburndale High plans to rename a building after Coach Green, to keep his legacy alive.