Longtime Newark Memorial Coach Rich Swift Has Died

According to close friends, the longtime Newark Memorial icon passed away Wednesday after being diagnosed with a brain tumor last week.

Longtime football coach and Newark Memorial icon Rich Swift has passed away, according to sources close to Swift.

Friends of Swift began spreading word of Swift’s death Wednesday afternoon.

Stacy Kelly, an athletic booster and close friend who has kept the community updated, posted on her Facebook page at around 4 p.m. that Swift had succumbed to an inoperable brain tumor while sleeping.

Kelly wrote:

“I have been dreading when I would have to put this update on FB. It breaks my heart to have to tell everyone that Coach Swift has passed away. I was with him this afternoon and he was sleeping like a baby. Very comfortable and in no pain at all. The icon of Newark Memorial High School will never be forgotten and he will live in all of our hearts forever.”

Swift was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor on Feb. 5. He was released from the hospital and entered hospice care on Saturday.

He was 60 years old.

Swift was a longtime math teacher, football coach and athletic director who began his career at Newark Memorial in 1978. Last season, his 35th as coach, Swift led the Newark Memorial Cougars to the league title match and the NCS Division II playoffs.

Patch will update this story as information comes in.

Share your memories of Coach Swift in the comments section below.

Cathy February 14, 2013 at 02:55 AM
Coach swift started the same year I was a freshman. All who knew him loved him. A great man indeed will not be forgotten.
Lori Cabrales February 14, 2013 at 03:04 AM
You are going to be missed . Rest in peace. You are the best. You will always be in our thoughts. Love lori
marisol puente February 14, 2013 at 03:14 AM
3 years ago you were my algebra 1 teacher had you 1&4 period I will never forget your golden heart. Thank you so much for all that you taught me and helped me.♥
Heather Hayes February 14, 2013 at 03:21 AM
You will always be loved and you will.definitely be missed by all R.I.P Coach Heather Hayes (Alluis) Class of 1995
Rob Sorensen February 14, 2013 at 05:51 AM
A true Newark Champion!
Sione tai February 14, 2013 at 06:14 AM
Rip coach swift.. Ofa Lahi atu.. Like yu would say to me after every game. Ill see yu monday.. Ill see yu on the other side.. Thank yu for everything n helping me see da better things in life. 2012 champions. #1
Larry Lawrence February 14, 2013 at 08:02 AM
Organizing tribute shows with Hollywood star power contact me 818 294 9468
Buzz Dean February 14, 2013 at 03:50 PM
Truly an Iconic figure, will be greatly missed. The Football field at NMHS should be changed to "Swift Field" in his' honor!!
Sharon Calvert Sage February 14, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Yes! We need to get the field name changed to SWIFT STADIUM!!
chris February 14, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Rest In Peace Coach - Your were a large influence on my High School. Tough but always fair!
Shel February 14, 2013 at 05:26 PM
R.I.P Coach Swift ❤ Shelby ~ Class of '93
Jacquie Laskey February 14, 2013 at 07:11 PM
We have known Coach Swift since 1999 when our children attended NMHS. He continues to be an inspiration and mentor to both students and parents. Coach Swift believed in the future generations and invested 110% of himself. He has left an amazing legacy ~ Heaven has another angel.
Jacquie Laskey February 14, 2013 at 07:16 PM
I am in complete agreement - I think the tribute is well deserved.
James Nelson February 14, 2013 at 08:38 PM
Never met Mr Swift, Honestly thinking back I don't think I met any of my Teachers at NMHS. I wasn't what you would call "School Oriented" and was rarely there. LOL. Still, a Soul has departed our Community and thus I've lit a Candle for him.
Nick February 14, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Agreed, Encinal has Stargell Field, why not, Newark's Swift Field.
Courtney Jones Lundien February 15, 2013 at 02:10 AM
I am a class of '92 alumni, and definitely agree the stadium should be renamed! After all he's done for the community the last 35 years, he most definitely deserves that honor. We will miss you Coach Swifty <3
Andrea "Andy" francis February 15, 2013 at 04:40 AM
The responsibility for self, Family, School, and Community, that Coach Swift instilled in thousands of Kids is bar non one of the most significant attributes he left with each person who came in touch with him. He is a "Man among Men" of the utmost moral character, loyalty, and honesty of any person I have known - I am proud and honored to call him my friend. My heart goes out to his family, Edna her girls, and grandchildren.
chris February 15, 2013 at 04:54 PM
Well said Andy Chris Jordan
S.B. February 16, 2013 at 05:56 AM
Coach Swift, I didn't know you well, but cherish a few sweet memories of you in my heart. God bless you, and your family as they grieve.
craig kirkland February 17, 2013 at 03:11 AM
Rich was a stud, !!!!! Craig from his wrestling days


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