Dwayne Nelson

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings made the following statement on the House floor on November 29, 2011, honoring the life of Dwayne Nelson:

M. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life of Mr. Dwayne Fitzgerald Nelson who passed away suddenly on October 18, 2011 at the age of 50. Mr. Nelson, also known as "Coach Rock," coached the boys' junior varsity basketball and football teams at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Before coaching, he worked for the City of Fort Lauderdale for over twenty years. He impacted the lives of many individuals in the community and will be truly missed.

Hundreds of mourners came to Nelson's funeral service, including friends, family members, colleagues, and other members of the community, celebrating the many lives that he touched throughout his years of service. Many of his current and former players came to pay their respects, and the Dillard boys' basketball and football teams wore T-shirts with Nelson's picture on the front in memory of their respected coach. Those in attendance remembered how Nelson helped lead the boys' basketball team to five state championships.

Dwayne Nelson committed his life to serving the Fort Lauderdale community. His colleagues at Dillard High School noted how he was the first person at the school every day for almost twenty years. As a coach, he taught his players lessons that went far beyond any athletic field. He made sure that they kept their grades up, so that they would succeed both on the field and in the classroom. This type of commitment is what set him apart as an outstanding mentor and coach.

M. Speaker, I rise today to remember Dwayne Nelson's dedication to improving the lives of so many. His service to Dillard High School and the City of Fort Lauderdale, demonstrates how everyday Americans can make a real difference by helping others in their community. My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Nelson's family and friends during this most difficult time.