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Rockets mourn loss of beloved coach

| March 26, 2024

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 26, 2024) – Tuscarawas County’s Special Olympics athletes are reeling from a big loss.

Multi-Sport Coach Frittz McGinnis succumbed to pancreatic cancer on Saturday, leaving behind his wife Denise and two sons, Austin and Bailey. County Special Olympics Coordinator Richelle Lefler says Coach Frittz meant a lot to the program and the players, who’ve been brainstorming ways to memorialize him.

“We do host a 3-on-3 tournament that we want to name after him. We want to present an award at our banquet named after him and, of course, they’re gonna leave his coach’s chair open for him next basketball season.” 

McGinnis had been part of the Rockets’ all-volunteer coaching staff since 2022, initially helping out with flag football before moving on to basketball and other sports. Lefler says he remained committed even while undergoing treatment, guiding the basketball team to a championship title. 

“A lot of times he would have treatment during the day or some big appointment in Cleveland and that night he would be at practice or the game. In talking to his wife Denise, a lot of times after the games he would pay the price. Sometimes, he would be really sick all night or just in pain but he never showed that to us.” 

The Rockets are hosting a disc golf tournament at Dover’s Deis Hill Park on April 6th to raise money for Coach Frittz’s family. Team member Angela Hall has also started a GoFundMe page in his name with a $10,000 goal. 

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