A well-known former football coach who created an Eastern Kentucky high school football dynasty in the 1950s and '60s died Thursday morning.
Ed Miracle, 83, died after battling an illness for several months, friends and family said. He was best known as the man who coached the Lynch High School Golden Bulldogs to 13 Class A district championships, eight state finals appearances and four state titles.
Lynch High School no longer exists; it was consolidated into the Harlan County school district in the 1980s. At that time, Mr. Miracle already had taken a job in Madison County, where he was a coach and athletic director until he retired in 1992.
Mr. Miracle had a lifelong love of Kentucky high school sports. He was a star running back at Middlesboro High School in Bell County, and he later played for Eastern Kentucky University — then called Eastern Kentucky State College — in the 1950s as a running back and defensive back.
Former EKU football coach Roy Kidd played alongside Mr. Miracle. The two were roommates for several years in college and remained close friends as they pursued their coaching careers.
"He was a good friend of mine and a good teammate and roommate," Kidd said. "We also teamed up pretty good as partners in golf when we both retired."
Mr. Miracle lived up to his name on the football field, but he had a love of all sports, said his wife, Donna Miracle, 77. He also coached baseball, golf and basketball, she said.
"He even was in charge of the band one week" while the director was out of town, Donna Miracle said. "He believed that students should be involved in everything in school so they could find what they were really good at."
His basketball teams at Lynch and Madison Central won more than 300 games, and his football teams won more than 200 games. Mr. Miracle was inducted into the KHSAA/Dawahares Hall of Fame in 1992.
After he retired, Mr. Miracle continued living with his family in Madison County in the same neighborhood as Kidd. Kidd said he visited his friend not long before Mr. Miracle died Thursday morning.
Donna Miracle said many friends and former players stopped by to pay their respects to Mr. Miracle in his final days.
"He touched a lot of lives," she said.
Mr. Miracle is survived by his wife; a son, Glen Miracle; a daughter, Michele Feld; five granddaughters; and one great-grandson, Donna Miracle said.
A visitation will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Oldham, Roberts and Powell Funeral Home, 1110 Barnes Mill Road, in Richmond, with the funeral following at 1:30 p.m., also at the funeral home.