OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) -- Nacoma James called Lafayette County High School his home for over 16 years. Head Football Coach Michael Fair said there wasn't a more dedicated coach or person in the Commodore community. The loss is devastating for him and the school.
"He was a great mentor for these young men around here and always had a smile on his face," Coach Fair said.
In addition to being an assistant football coach, James also taught in the middle school. He died last Thursday while in self-quarantine with coronavirus-like symptoms. He was 42. No one knows the official cause of death.
Coach Fair worked with James since 2014. After James' sudden death, Fair spent some time at his dad's farm in Greenville to collect his thoughts and reflect on his time with Coach James.
"We won a state championship together in 2016 and he had so much pride for Lafayette and loves this place so much," Fair said. "Just to see that look on his face of accomplishment, I probably won't forget that."
After the news broke, Coach Fair had to talk with his team over a zoom call because of Coronavirus restrictions. Coach Fair said that they will have something in place to honor the memory of James during the 2020 football season.
"I don't have specifics yet, it's still just way too soon, but his legacy will live on through this football program for a long time."
The Commodores start official practice start on Monday, August 17th.
The team's opening game is at Horn Lake on September 4th.