Family and community remember Lewis ‘Sarge’ Green

Photos by Alphonso Abbott Jr.- Ram running back Lionel Long Jr., No. 33 white, gets upended by the East Forsyth defense.

Family and community remember Lewis ‘Sarge’ Green
September 28
03:00 2017

Lewis Green, affectionately known as “Sarge,” recently passed away from complications from cancer.  Green was the former golf coach at Reynolds High School who was a coach at the school for 26 years.

Green, who passed away this month at age 67, leaves behind a legacy that stretches beyond the realm of coaching.  He impacted so many lives on and off the field that his memory will be remembered for years to come.

Sergeant Major Lewis Green was the boys’ golf coach from 2005 until his death.  He was also the JROTC teacher at Reynolds from 1993-2012 before retiring from the classroom.  Along with coaching golf, Green also coached football at Reynolds as well. He retired in January 1993 after serving 24 years in the military.

“I would love to be able to touch as many people’s lives as he did, but it’s not enough hours in the day,” said Buck Green about his father.  “How did this man find enough hours in his day to be able to affect this many people? I can’t explain it.  If I could just be able to do half of what he did in my life, my life would be a success.”

Buck stated his father didn’t pick up a golf club until he was almost 30 years old.  Green said once his father started playing the game, he fell in love with it immediately.

“They day he started playing he never ever stopped,” said Buck.  “He went out and practiced every day, studied and read books about the game.  As the years went on he kept playing and practicing so when I came along he put a club in my hand and I became really good, really quickly.”

During his time as a football coach, Green influenced many young men in a positive way.  Former Reynolds great Chris McCoy, who went on to play at Wake Forest University and is the current JV football head coach at  Reagan High School, said Green made a tremendous impact on his life.

“I knew right away that he was a no-nonsense guy that was straight to the point and that’s what I needed in my life at that moment,” McCoy said.  “He showed me a new way to work hard and I didn’t understand it at the time but it paid off in the long run.

“For guys or kids that needed a role model, he provided that,” McCoy continued.  “He was able to give advice or say the right thing in the time of need.  Being there for kids in need and doing what they needed done will be his legacy in the city of Winston-Salem.”

Dr. Art Pascal, principal of Reynolds from 2005-12, said Green was one of his closest friends as well as a good golfing buddy.  He says they talked on the phone nearly every day, and he will miss him dearly.

“In my time at Reynolds, I can’t think of a person that impacted a broader range of kids than Sarge did,” Pascal said.  “He treated everyone the same and didn’t care if you were black or white, rich or poor, or male or female.  He was a beloved guy and I miss him every day.”

“He was just a good guy and there was nothing pretentious about him,” he continued.  “He was the same at a country club as he was in the classroom, and that was one of the things I loved about him.”

Maybe the biggest impact Green had was on the life of Ricardo Howell.  Howell was an ROTC student of Green’s and later came to live with the Green family.  Howell was labeled as a “bad kid” but under the guidance of Green, he went on to graduate from Winston-Salem State University with a degree in criminal justice.  He currently is a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.

“He had a cookout for all of the ROTC students and some of the kids’ parents came and when he asked me if I was ready to go home, I said no, not yet, and he said OK,” Howell said.  “It wasn’t that I had a bad house to go back to, I just wasn’t ready to go home.”

Howell says since the age of 11 he always wanted to be in the military.  When Green became his ROTC teacher, Howell said, he was “relatable and took more time out for the kids.”  For Howell, Green was a father figure because his biological father was not in his life.  

“The Green family provided that love and stability that I needed,”  Howell went on to say.  “He saw in me that all I needed was a little bit of guidance.”

Howell says without the Green family, he might have gone down the wrong path that many people felt he was going to take as a youth.  He says Sarge provided the example of what a man is supposed to be that encouraged him to do better with his life.

“I don’t want to be conceited and self-centered, but I feel like I am one of his legacies because he actually saved me from Winston-Salem, North Carolina,” said Howell of the legacy Green leaves behind.  “He impacted a lot of children’s lives, but I think out of all the kids he impacted my life the most.”

“That’s why when people ask who is your dad, I first ask them what they mean because my dad is Robert Simmons but the man who raised me is Sergeant Major Green,” he continued.  “When I needed that figure to mold me, make me and shape me, he was there.  I feel I am his legacy and Buck is my brother.”

Buck says his father will be remembered in part because of the way he was able to relate to any and everyone regardless of race, religion, or economic background.  Buck says even up to the very end of Green’s life he had kids and parents from all over the Triad area and beyond that wanted to transfer to Reynolds just to be coached by Green.

Following the death of Green, Buck stated that the Reynolds golf team was very helpful with anything the Green family needed.  They even served as ushers for the funeral and Buck thanks them for all of their assistance.  

The team has dedicated the season to Green and members say they want to bring home the state championship in his honor.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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