Community mourns loss of Brooke teacher, coach
WELLSBURG — Many in Brooke County are mourning the loss of a local schoolteacher and coach who died following an all-terrain vehicle accident in Piney, W.Va., Saturday.
Following news of the death of Ron Ujcich Jr., who was 45, Jeffrey Crook, Brooke County superintendent of schools, said he’s received many calls and seen many Facebook posts lamenting the loss.
“There’s been a lot of outpouring and a lot of memories. It’s a tough day. He was a good guy,” Crook said of Ujcich, who had taught driver education at Brooke High School in addition to coaching baseball and golf at the school.
Crook said, “The Brooke County schools family is truly heartbroken by the passing of Ron Ujcich. He was a role model and inspiration to our students and athletes. His dedication and hard work were unmatched. He always chose to put his students first. Coach Ron was loved and respected throughout the Ohio Valley and he will truly be missed. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the entire Brooke County Schools community.
“Rest in peace, Coach.”
Ted Pauls, president of the Brooke County school board, said the outpouring from many in the community demonstrates the impact he had on it.
“He was a friend to everyone,” Pauls said.
A 1993 graduate of Brooke High School, Ujcich followed in the footsteps of his parents, Ron and Eva, who also had taught in Brooke County Schools, and like his father, he taught driver education and coached the school’s baseball team.
Ujcich had been the head baseball coach at Brooke for the past 14 years, coaching 13 seasons with the 2020 season having been canceled due to coronavirus.
Ujcich also coached the Bruins golf team for the past 12 years. Recently, he coached a senior golfer to back-to-back individual Class AAA WVSSAC state titles and three individual OVAC titles.
In addition to his parents, Ujcich is survived by three siblings: Jennifer Jezierski and Todd, both of Follansbee, and Brian of Wintersville.
Visitation will be from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Mullenbach Funeral Home, with a Funeral Mass to be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. John Catholic Church.
His family has announced plans to establish a scholarship in his name.
(Staff writer Andrew Grimm contributed to this report.)