MONROE, N.C. — A family and an entire Union County school community is heartbroken after a father, husband, teacher and coach died unexpectedly last week.
Officials told Channel 9 Barney Harris was killed in Alamance County last Thursday, which is about two hours from where he worked at Union Academy Charter School in Monroe.
Authorities have not said how he died, but the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office is calling it a “death investigation.”
Harris was hired by Union Academy Charter School in July 2017 as a high school Spanish teacher and served as the head coach for the varsity men’s basketball team and varsity men’s track team.
Harris was also a husband and the father of three children -- two sons and a daughter.
“My heart is broken, my heart is broken,” Harris’ wife said. “I’ve been with my husband 21 years.”
Harris left behind a philosophy, “All Love, No Fear.” His son said that motto was something his father lived by and something he grew up with.
“I’ve never seen my dad down, I’ve never seen my dad cry,” he said. “My dad gave everything 100%.”
Harris’ wife said he gave it all on earth and that is what helps give her peace.
“He did everything God wanted him to, and God wanted him back home,” she said. “My heart is pure with that. It’s broken, but it’s pure with that.”
While Harris leaves behind three children, he leaves many more at Union Academy where he taught and coached.
“We absolutely love the family,” one parent said. “My husband went to college with Coach Harris. He coached my nephew. It’s been a difficult time, he will be greatly missed.”
In a post on Facebook, the school said they will be celebrating Harris’ life and his motto “All Love, No Fear” on Monday by wearing Union Academy spirit wear.
“The UA community is mourning the unexpected loss of teacher and coach Barney Harris. UA students, staff, and families are asked to wear UA Spirit Wear on Monday, April 12 to celebrate the life of Coach Barney Harris whose motto “All Love...No Fear” will be forever a part of who we are as a school. Love each other and live each day to the fullest. #AllLoveNoFear.”
Counselors were available to students and staff on Monday.
Cox Media Group