"He was always the type of man, he would make you strive for excellence, said former student Debra Kirkland.
Kirkland, a former student athlete holds on to fond memories of Coach Jerry Thompson, who now coaches her daughters.
"He is nice and friendly and he will make an athlete out of you," her daughter Cathy added.
But at Wednesday's hearing, they got a chance to see a different picture.
"Throwing a water bottle in the locker room," an attorney read from a list of accusations.
Thompson is accused of repeatedly yelling at students and being late to work, along with seven other reasons the superintendent wants to fire him.
"Telling a student he should go to his home country if he couldn't speak English," the district's attorney said.
The district filed an ethics complaint against Thompson saying his relationship with students violates policies. The crowd watched surveillance of his interaction with a student after a complaint he grabbed a student's arm and pushed him against the wall.
But many say, they appreciate his style.
"He does a lot of yelling and screaming but he will make a better athlete out of you," said his relative, Tyrone Williamson.
Rebecca Possick's daughter used to be on the team and continues to work with athletes as a student manager.
"I can't believe they're putting him through this, he has been so inspirational to so many children for so many years," she said.
When word spread, families flooded Facebook with support and many braved the standing room only meeting for hours hoping their testimonies would make a difference.
"It would be a detrimental loss, he has been a fine coach and a fine man for several years," said Darin Kirkland.
The ethics investigation is ongoing and as of 10 o'clock Wednesday night the board had not returned from executive session.
KARK will continue following the story and bring you the board's final decision.