Liberty Christian boys basketball coach Richard Scofield, who retired after 40 years of coaching last month, died on Sunday after suffering a massive heart attack.
Richard Scofield Scofield, 62, led Ryan to a Class 4A state championship in 2000 before coaching at Liberty Christian for seven years. Prior to his time in Denton County, Scofield coached in Liberal, Kan.; Moore, Okla.; and Sulphur Springs.
Liberty football coach and athletic director Greg Price said Scofield rode his bicycle 65 miles on Saturday. He did not know of any serious heart problems Scofield might have had.
“It’s obvious from the amount of people that came to the hospital that everybody loved him and that his family means a lot to a lot of people,” Price said. “He’s a special guy. I know he was to me.”
Scofield is survived by his wife, Linda; daughter, Lauren; and two sons, Wil and Christian, who is a senior at Liberty. Wil plays basketball at Oklahoma Christian University.
Scofield said in January that coaching his sons was one of his greatest experiences, and with Christian being a senior, it seemed to make sense he would retire after four decades of coaching.
“People have asked me even this year, ‘well, when Christian graduates, are you going to stop coaching?’ And I said no,” he told the Denton Record-Chronicle in January. “Over the Christmas break, when I had time to think about all of this, I just came to the conclusion that it was time.”
Price, who has been at Liberty since 1997, is about to finish his first school year as athletic director, and said he learned a lot from Scofield in their time working together.
“This being my first year as athletic director, his encouragement and affirmation meant a lot from someone who had been around athletics that long,” Price said. “There was nothing like being in a coaches’ meeting and having him say ‘good job’ to you. It meant a lot.”
One of Scofield’s greatest coaching accomplishments came 10 years ago this week, when he led Ryan to an upset victory over Dallas Madison for the Class 4A state title.
Ryan hosted a reunion of the team last month.
“All I remember was we were not expected to win,” Scofield said last month. “People expected Madison to beat us by 15 or 20. I remember being really relaxed before the game, probably more than I felt I should be. We were really happy to be there and not expected to win.”
Price said he and his co-workers, past and present, will fondly remember Scofield and the time they were able to spend with him.
“He’s been a good friend,” Price said. “We’ve spent the last seven years together in Bible studies and swapping stories and watching him coach basketball. He means a lot to us all and he’ll definitely be missed.”