McKeesport, Pa. - On January 19th, 2017, beloved Penn State Greater Allegheny men's baseball assistant coach, Jeff Wilds, passed away suddenly at his home. He was 47.
"Jeff was not only a coach, but also a mentor to his team members. He loved the sport of baseball and it showed in his dedication to his job and to his players. The guys looked up to him for motivation and inspiration. He will be missed by his team members and all of us here at Greater Allegheny," said Korie Morton-Rozier, the campus Athletic Director.
Wilds joined Penn State Greater Allegheny in 2014. His love of the sport extends back to childhood, where he played for various teams, including P.A.L. and N.C.A.A. youth teams, Norwin High School, Norwin American Legion, the Daily News League, Westmoreland County League and the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg where he also served as manager.
Wilds, who was buried in his Penn State Greater Allegheny uniform on January 24th, was escorted by team members, who also wore their uniforms, as they served as pall bearers at the coaches funeral.
In his formal obituary by Ott Funeral Home, his family expressed their sentiments to the team. "To the Penn State Greater Allegheny baseball team - the Wilds family fully understands and appreciates how much you meant to Jeff. He cared about each and every one of his players. Remember his spirit and his lesson as you battle through the upcoming season."
"It really hasn't hit anyone that he is gone," expressed head coach Dean Pope. "The kids and I reminisce every day at practice. He is sorely missed as a mentor, teacher and friend. His memories and laughs will live on with all of us."
To show their appreciation, members of the Greater Allegheny baseball team will be wearing patches on their jerseys in his memory for the remainder of the season.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the White Oak Animal Safe Haven, 2995 Lincoln Way White Oak, PA 15131.
Wilds is survived by his wife, Teri and daughter, Samantha and her fiancé Robert Lauricia, and his brother, Brian.
To view the obituary, click here.
Rest in Peace, Coach Wilds