The victim of the fatal shooting at a Camp Washington gas station on Wednesday was a beloved youth coach who is remembered by many for serving his community.
Jearid Irvin, 48, was affectionately known as “Coach Sticky”. For the past 20 years, he has coached youth football and basketball at numerous Cincinnati schools and recreation centers.
Crystal Shaw, Irvin’s friend of more than 20 years, said his death was not just a loss for his family and friends, but for the entire community.
“He did so much for so many people. He was just a good guy. He really was,” Shaw said.
She said he was like a father figure and role model to the kids he coached. If the parents couldn’t afford to pay for games or events, Irvin would find a way to cover the costs. He also picked up children from their homes to take them to training or matches.
“He had a van and he was loading them all in there. He was like, ‘Don’t say there’s no room. We make room. He wouldn’t leave anyone behind,” Shaw said.
She shared a story of how Irvin encouraged her grandson to commit to playing basketball and show up regularly for practice when he didn’t want to. Shaw said Irvin was all about tough love and getting the best out of the kids he coached.
Shaw has yet to break the news to his grandson. She is afraid that it will devastate him.
“Explaining it to all the children…it will be difficult. “There will be a lot of empty spaces in the hearts of these children. A guy told me yesterday that his son fainted twice after hearing the news. He really meant a lot to them,” Shaw said.
Irvin’s cousin, Shawna Covin-Benford, said she doesn’t want people to remember him as the guy who argued outside a gas station. She wants people to remember Irvin for his huge heart and dedication to his community.
“He had a good mind, a good heart, never in a violent way. He was always trying to encourage kids to go to college and not do what he did in his youth,” Covin-Benford said. .
She said Irvin wanted to make sure the kids he worked with had the support and opportunities he didn’t have when he was younger.
In addition to training, he planned fun events for the kids, like taking them camping or going out of town to watch pro games.
Irvin also planned events for parents, including hosting barbecues and parties at South Fairmount Park and planning group trips.
“He was motivated by love, just the heart he had. He wanted to be together. If he organized something, everyone was invited. You could show up to his event, and he would treat you like a he’s known you forever,” Covin-Benford said.
“This is a major loss for Cincinnati, everyone who knew him and all the lives he touched.”