Thousands gather to say goodbye to Coach Howard

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Nearly 3000 mourners gathered to say their final goodbyes and reflect on the life of Lincoln High School football coach Keith Howard.

Howard died of a heart attack on at halftime of Friday's game.

Family, friends, colleagues and students packed the school's stadium for the emotional homegoing.

Those closest to Coach Howard said seeing thousands of people show to say goodbye was moving.

Among those attending were athletes donning jerseys of 15 high schools.

Three pastors spoke of his character, his Christian background, and of course, his impact as football coach.

Players saw Howard as a father figure, and they say they'll carry his legacy by dedicating the new season to the coach.

Lincoln High's principal says Coach Howard played a huge role in getting the school's new stadium built.

And on Thursday, the varsity teams first game is at the stadium.

There also will be a special dedication. The stadium will be named after the beloved coach.