Trey Pike was more than a football coach

Football Coach Dies in Boating Accident
Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 12:40 AM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Vernon High School lost one of its own early this morning.

Officials with Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission confirmed Trey Pike, the high school’s athletic director, and head football coach, died in a boat accident.

An off-duty Panama City fireboat found the boat early this morning with the engine still running.

The boat came in contact with a tower abutment in North Bay, near Bailey Bridge.

Those who knew him say he had a heart of gold.

“I’ve been torn up about it,” said former Head Football Coach Gerald Tranquille. “He was like a brother to me, like a little brother.”

Tranquille said he knew him well.

“We texted every day,” Tranquille said. “My wife would always tease us that we were worse than girls.”

Pike’s role as athletic director and as a coach didn’t just impact his co-workers.

He played a substantial role in the lives of those he mentored, too.

“He was the perfect mix of the kind of fire and energy they ended,” Tranquille said. “I’m a little bit calm; he was a little bit ra-ra. Those kids needed it at a time cause they were a little upset, obviously, when I left. I told those kids the day when I talked to him that he was just they needed.”

Tranquille said he spoke to Pike’s football players about the sudden incident.

“I told them Coach Pike loved each and every one of you,” Tranquille said. “I told them we talked every day, asking how I was doing at my job and asking how the guys were.”

He told Pike’s team to view this as a challenge during this tough time.

“I said if there’s one thing Coach Pike would want for you all is to use this fire and this loss as a challenge to come together as a team and continue to do the things he had in store for the rest of the season,” Tranquille said.

Still, Tranquille said the community needs to come together now more than ever.

He also said Chad Weeks will be the interim coach.

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