CALHOUN COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – Calhoun County coaching great Sidney Granger passed away at 72-years-old on Nov. 16, but the lessons he taught to the many student-athletes he coached will be remembered forever.
“He was like a celebrity honestly. Because he had coached so many different generations, everybody knew who he was,” a former baseball player of his, Mi’Kel Engram, said.
Granger started his coaching career in Altha, coaching the middle school, JV and varsity basketball teams.
One of his former basketball players there, Josh McIntosh, said he wasn’t your typical coach and always had fun during practices.
“You could kinda like actually joke around with him like as if he was one of the guys versus you not wanting to poke fun at your coach because he’s the guys in charge,” McIntosh said.
After Altha, Granger went to Blountstown where he not only coached basketball, but was an assistant coach on the baseball and football teams too.
The current Tigers baseball coach, Emory Horne, said he remembers having long conversations with him on morning bus duty.
“He always told me you can get the most of out kids by letting them play hard, let them play their way in the lineup and let them play their way out of the lineup, always remember that and that’s one thing that sticks with me,” Horne said.
Coach Horne’s sons both played for Granger on the middle school basketball team. Even though Coach Horne didn’t play for him, plenty of father and son duos in Calhoun County did, like Mi’Kel Engram and his dad, Michael.
Engram said Coach Granger made his dad a great outfielder and made him one too.
“He really wanted everyone to succeed, like no matter what position you were playing, he wanted you to be the best in that position,” Engram said.
No matter which team he was coaching, the student-athletes he impacted through his decades-long career each took away.
“He instilled in my brain practice makes perfect. Your gonna mess up but practice makes perfect,” Engram said.
“Being to admit you are wrong and kinda set things straight so you can move forward I think is a good way to remember him and move forward,” McIntosh said.
They will also always remember the way Coach Granger touched their lives.
“Man he was a great guy, great person for our community,” Horne said.