CarolineKurzawa, Staff Reporter
In the process of writing this tribute, I interviewed family members, coaches, friends and members of the Chattahoochee wrestling team. When I asked people to reminisce about Coach Pitt, I was met with the same message- how much time do you have? I’m afraid I’ll never have enough time to describe his wide reaching impact and heart of gold, but I’ll try my hardest.
Courageous. Kind. Compassionate. Father. Coach. Teacher. These and many more are some of the words that can be used to describe Coach Pitt. A man with unrelenting bravery, a heart full of love and a body full of humor, Adam Pitt wrestled with cancer until the bitter end. On January 8, 2018, the match ended, and a beloved member of the Hooch Family left us with full hearts and years of memories to cherish.
Losing Coach Pitt feels more like the loss of a family member rather than that of a coach or teacher because he was the true embodiment of the mantra Hooch Family. Not only that, but the idea of Team Pitt brought many people together. The idea for Team Pitt came quickly after his diagnosis. “We knew we had to rally the troops and help the family,” said Coach Hicks, a fellow wrestling coach and friend of Adam Pitt’s. Team Pitt came to mean great courage, determination and a life well lived. The impact of Team Pitt was clearly evident at Coach Pitt’s funeral. “[There were] 1000 seats at North Point, and there were people standing. That’s a testament to how many people he impacted,” explained Coach Cavanaugh, a Chattahoochee High School wrestling coach.
First and foremost, Adam Pitt was a loving father to his three children, all former or present Chattahoochee students: Kyle, Jordan and Erin Pitt (SR), and a husband to his wife, Dana. When asked if there was anything special she and her dad used to do together, Erin shared, “when Jordan would practice wrestling, he would take me to the Discovery Mall, and we would play putt putt and get smoothies. We did that a lot.” Adam Pitt was well known for his sense of humor and famous dad jokes. “Whenever he would leave somewhere, instead of saying ‘hasta la vista,’ he would say ‘pasta vino,’” Erin elaborated on his humorous antics. Adam Pitt was a family man through and through. Erin shared how incredibly supportive and loving he was, and how he never failed to show how proud he was of her and her brothers. She knew he was always in her corner. He was the warm and loving father every child needs.
In addition to his passion for fatherhood, he had a passion for athletics, particularly wrestling, which he helped pass down through his years of coaching. Before becoming a Chattahoochee wrestling coach, he coached his children’s soccer and lacrosse teams. “He was always a coach. Born a coach,” Erin shared. According to Coach Hicks, Coach Pitt was the wrestling head coach for about six years. During his career, Coach Pitt helped young men reach their potential as athletes while also sharing wisdom. Fisher Gabrels (SR), a member of the wrestling team, shared, “he was the first coach who brought me aside and started teaching me not just about wrestling, but about life.” “Coach Pitt is forever in our hearts and will stick with us every day. Every day we should all aim to be a little more like Coach Pitt by never giving up and always finding the humor in the situation,” shared Noah Latzsch (SR), a Chattahoochee wrestler. “The wrestling program was family” to Coach Pitt, added Coach Hicks about Coach Pitt’s devotion to the Chattahoochee wrestling team.
Adam Pitt was not only a father, friend and coach, but also a teacher. He taught in the social studies department for close to twenty years and helped many students meet their academic goals in his class. Hicks shared, “in class, if a kid was struggling, he would do whatever he could [to help them to succeed].” Coach Hicks explained that a unique feature to each fantasy league Coach Pitt joined was that each team was named ‘Kuala Lumpur,’ the capital of Malaysia, a factoid he made sure everyone knew.
In the wake of his passing, many people are remembering the gravity of his impact as a teacher and coach. In his honor, the wrestling room was named ‘The Pitt,’ so the team may always remember him and his perspectives on life and coaching. Coach Hicks shared the impact Coach Pitt made upon his life, by saying, “he wanted everyone around him to be at their best. He wanted to have a good time, and he wanted to make sure everybody around him had that same experience.” Perhaps his greatest coaching motto could be summed up as, “we’re going to work hard, but we’re going to have fun,” continued Hicks.
Additionally, Coach Pitt never let his illness define him. He never lost faith. Coach Hicks explained, “he never stopped fighting, and [his family] never lost their enthusiasm for life.” Even during the most trying parts of his battle with cancer, Coach Pitt still wanted to have an active role in the wrestling team and to “be around people,” said Coach Hicks. “He didn’t want people to feel sorry for him,” continued Hicks. Noah Latzsch remarked, “his moving way to always find the light at the end of the darkest tunnels was one of the everlasting impacts he made on me.” Moving forward, “we’ll always use him as an example of how to live,” explained Hicks. Senior member of the wrestling team, Fisher Gabrels, remarked that “[the wrestling team will] remember him and be strong. We’ll do our absolute best for him.”
Losing someone like Coach Pitt is felt deep in the heart and soul. He contributed so much to Chattahoochee as a coach and teacher and to his family as a husband and father. While his life was cut short, it left us with a message that shall be carried on long after his death- Team Pitt forever.