Curtis Barbay

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Curtis Barbay

Postby Lyn Breaux » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:57 pm

We just knew him as Curtis but he was much more than that. Curtis passed away on September 25, 2010. It was a shock to the Newton community and there were many tributes to him with an outpouring of love and sadness shown throughout the entire area. Here are just a few quotes from the area:

NEWTON - Legendary Newton High School football coach Curtis Barbay has died of a massive heart attack at Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth, according to information by the school superintendent, Sherrie Leach, who said "our hearts are breaking" and "this area has lost a great friend."

"the community is mourning the death of a man considered not only a great coach, but a coach who molded young people into outstanding citizens.
"We have lost a great friend and a man that has provided a lot of leadership in our community," said Leach. "He's part of our family. Our hearts are breaking." Barbay is survived by his wife, Mona, two sons who are coaches, his daughter, and a number of other relatives. "They're a close knit family," said Leach. "They'll all support one another. Keep them in your prayers." Newton County Sheriff Joe Walker told KFDM News he'd like to see flags flown at half staff throughout the week in memory of Curtis Barbay.

Following taken from article by Tom Halliburton
Barbay: unique, down to earth, one of a kind. If the Good Lord decided to station one football coach at the Pearly Gates, our Southeast Texas Coaches Association recently submitted a most worthy nominee. Certainly, without any hesitation, Curtis Joseph Barbay, Jr., told it like it was. He never was afraid to shoot straight throughout his coaching days. Curtis Barbay leaves a coaching legacy in South East Texas If you were good, he let you know. If you stunk to high heaven, he let you know.
...... this common, down-to-earth soul served his community, his peers and his youth with a sincere, homespun, humility and truthfulness that made Curtis one of a kind. A lot of accurate adjectives were tossed into that previous sentence but the key word really amounted to this -- served...... speaks volumes about the importance of a head football coach's reputation and public image for an entire town. When you thought of the Newton Eagles and Newton County, you thought of Curtis and that was good. Here's more about why it was good. The man did so much more than wear that purple cap with the plain-white backward 'N' on it. He served, brother, and he kept on serving. Curtis knew every inch of Texas 87 and he drove the bus often to track meets, and games of all kinds. That's what Barbay often did in order to allow Newton to compete with the best reasonably available competition which Newton could play. Geography never worked that great in Newton's favor but Curtis rolled with the punches every time. Barbay did not always take the easy way out of problems, like so many younger generation guys in their 20s and 30s tend to do. Curtis would examine his problems at realignment time, scratch his head and figure out the best means of helping his operation to stay competitive. He didn't become consumed with piling up easy wins.
Trying to win in District 24-3A could be more stressful with an enrollment of 345 kids than the average worker around Newton or Jasper ever would confront. It was quite a bit harder than fishing at Toledo Bend or going to Mass at St. Catherine's Catholic Church in Kirbyville. There aren't many like plain ol' Curtis in any era, though. He was special. It's sad that this season could not have been completed. Curtis would have gotten to coach against both his son (Darrell, head coach at Anahuac) and Darrell's cousin (Kevin, head coach at Warren) in the very same District 10-2A Division 1. Barbay's remarkable legacy will never die, though. The Pearly Gates apparently needed a big old football coach to serve up there on the greeting committee.
Tom Halliburton is a Port Arthur News sports columnist

Just think - to us - he was just Curtis!
Lyn Breaux
 
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