Family, friends pay respects to San Antonio coaching legend

Funeral for Coach George Past­erchick draws crowd of former players, students

SAN ANTONIO - Family and friends paid their last respects to long-time high school football coach George Pasterchick in San Antonio.

The coaching icon spent 34 years at St. Gerard's, and in all, he coached for 44 years.

Pasterchick died Friday at the age of 82 after battling a blood disorder since 2010.

"He was my best friend. He was my mentor. He was my dad. It's been an honor and pleasure for ... my mom (and I) to share him with everyone else," his son, Steve Pasterchick, said.

He said the outpouring of love since his father's death, including the large turnout at Saint Mark's United Methodist Church for his funeral Wednesday, is a testament to how many lives Pasterchick touched.

"He always had something wonderful to say, and he was just always my inspiration," Pasterchick's daughter, Georgia Bartlett, said. "He loved life and taught us all how to live."

Jarnell Porter played football for Pasterchick, and said his former coach left a mark on his life.

"He was a great coach, but a better man. I believe that he left a legacy, and the legacy that he left influenced me and a lot of people who went to St. Gerard's," Porter said.

Mike Pedraza, who graduated from St. Gerard's in the 1970s said he never played football, but still felt Pasterchick's influence.

"I was a competitive roller skater, the only one at St. Gerard's, and so him being the football coach, he took me under his wing and helped give me cross-training techniques and stuff and supported my roller skating career," Pedraza said.

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