Titans offensive line coach dies
Published 1:08 am Sunday, October 11, 2015
Port Arthur Memorial offensive line coach John L. Clayton Jr. died Saturday.
Clayton was a 1987 graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School and played football at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette) on a scholarship.
“Very shocking,” Port Arthur Memorial coach said. “I have known him half my life. Our kids were very devastated at the news, especially the offensive line. They knew he had medical issues but not to this extent. It is tough when you see someone on a Thursday in competition, and in less than 48 hours they are gone.”
Clayton was seen at Memorial’s 27-22 victory at Baytown Sterling on Thursday.
Harrison said Clayton had kidney problems and was on dialysis. Harrison also said the statement of Clayton’s character was that he never complained and never let his illness slow him down.
“He did not want this to stop him from his responsibility,” Harrison added. “He never wanted anyone to feel sorry for him. He had that old coach mentality. He was a competitor and took pride in his job. He is a great lesson to our kids to never let anything stop you from doing what you love. The rest of our season will be played in his honor and memory.”
Port Arthur ISD athletic director Andre Boutte said he had known the Clayton family for many years while coaching at Beaumont Ozen.
“My prayers go out to him and his family,” Boutte said. “He was a very hard worker. He will be truly missed. It is a huge loss for our entire community and those kids he worked with every day. Right now it is a feeling of numbness. It puts a lot of perspective on it all.”
Clayton was on the original coaching staff when Memorial High School opened in 2002. Several years later he moved to Beaumont Ozen to coach under his father John Clayton Sr., who took over the head football job in 2005 and coached for two seasons. The Panthers finished 7-3 and reached the playoffs in 2005 before going 1-9.
Clayton Jr. rejoined the Titans staff in 2014.
Clayton Jr. is survived by his wife, Kimberly, and three children, Essynce, DeAndre and Johnell.