Beloved Newton Rams track and field assistant coach Jay Rollerson died over the weekend, Newton head coach Demetrice Perry-Stokes announced in a social media post Monday.
Rollerson, known as Coach Rollo, passed away from a heart attack at home, Perry-Stokes said.
“My heart is sooo heavy right now, l am really in disbelief at this moment,” Perry-Stokes posted. “I lost a great friend, mentor, and legendary coach who stuck with me from the beginning to the end. Jay Rollerson, was like family to me, but our girls track team looked up to him as a father figure and would he give them the world if he could. He always kept a winner’s mentality and working with the girls was the highlight of his life and all he talked about.”
Rollerson retired from teaching seven years ago and joined Perry-Stokes’ staff as an assistant. He helped the program to back-to-back region championships during his tenure.
“I learned so much from him over the years and his spirit has embraced the girls track team in ways you wouldn’t even imagine,” Perry-Stokes posted. “I just talked to him on Friday he was in great spirit and to hear the news (Sunday) that he died at home due to a heart attack was devastating to me. I could not understand how someone so healthy and runs every day dies from a heart attack.
“We all loved him dearly and he’s definitely irreplaceable. We have definitely lost a precious jewel in our community and dedicated leaders. You run your race in heaven now, rest Coach Rollo hold tight to your baton. We love you and you will be greatly missed.”