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John Lee Cobb, 84, affectionately known as "Coach," passed away peacefully on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Knoxville, Tenn.
John was born in in Midland, Fla., and grew up in Blountstown, Fla., before moving to Panama City, Fla. He was an outstanding athlete, excelling in football and baseball, leading the Bay High Tornado football team in the tailback position. After playing football and graduating from Memphis State University, John joined the Air Force. After serving his country in the Korean conflict, he returned to Memphis and began his football coaching career, which included stints at Treadwell High School, Oakhaven High School and Memphis State University.
In 1973, he returned to his beloved Bay High School as head football coach and athletic director, building the program and leading the Tornadoes to a state football championship in 1976. John made his imprint on Bay County Athletics as county athletic director following his Bay High days. He returned to high school administration at Rutherford High School, retiring in 1990. Coach Cobb was always happiest coaching and mentoring his players. The impact of his leadership and encouragement was evidenced by the large number of former players who stayed in close contact with "Coach."
He was preceded in death by his wife, Lucy.
He is survived by his daughter, SuAnne Cobb and her partner, Margaret Bickley, of Knoxville, Tenn.; his son and daughter-in-law, John Michael and Nell Cobb, of Hattiesburg, Miss.; grandchildren Matt Jennings (wife Ann), Colin Jennings (wife Holly), Sara Cobb (husband Todd Griffin) and John Russell Cobb; and great-granddaughter Addison Lucille Jennings.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bay High School Athletic Department. Funeral services will be held at 8 p.m. on Thursday in the Wilson Funeral Home Chapel. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Thursday from 6-8 p.m. prior to the service. A graveside service will be held on Friday, Nov. 2, at 10 a.m. in Evergreen Memorial Gardens.
Wilson Funeral Home
Family Owned Since 1911
214 Airport Road
Panama City, Fla.
Wilson Funeral Home - Panama City
214 Airport Road
Panama City, FL 32405
Published in Panama City News Herald on Oct. 30, 2012