ALLEN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – On Sunday, August 22, new Allen High School Football Coach James Shillam passed away from COVID-19 after spending two-and-a-half weeks in the hospital.
Shillam had been a football coach for 26 years.READ MORE: Big Cowboys Win Means Massive Shopping Spree For Some
He caught COVID-19 in early August, and had just recently been hired to work for Allen ISD.
And though his time was cut short, his wife Kyp Shillam said coaching for Allen ISD was a lifelong dream of his.READ MORE: Fall Allergy Season Has Arrived In North Texas
âThis was his promised land, this was his dream. Allen was his dream, he always wanted to coach here,â she said. âIt meant the world to us, and to him. And a lot of people may say he stopped short of getting his dream, but he did not. He got to walk in his promised land.â
Paul Ressa, a friend and current coach at Denton Ryan High Schoo, said being a coach was something James Shillam was born to do.
âHe was a rock, he was exactly what you would want as a coach, as a teacher, as a friend, and mentor in this profession,â Ressa said.MORE NEWS: Dallas Police Officers Looking For Animal Cruelty Suspect Who Abandoned Puppy
Allen ISD released a statement saying, âAllen ISD is heart broken to learn of the passing of James Shillam, and our deepest sympathy goes out to the Shillam family. Coach Shillam joined Allen ISD late this summer, and we are mournful we did not have the opportunity to witness the positive impact that he wouldâve left on our students and our school district.â