EL DORADO -- The local high school football community lost a leader earlier this week.
Chic Bist was a high school coaching fixture for 44 years, with his last three years at Union Mine High School in El Dorado.
Bist lost his six-year fight with pancreatic cancer Tuesday. He was 71.
Union Mine’s football team was practicing Thursday, getting ready to play their scheduled game Friday evening at Western Sierra Collegiate Academy in Rocklin.
“It kind of takes me away from what is going on,” said senior linebacker Seth Pearce. “So, yeah, I did want to get back out here. Plus, I know coach wouldn't have wanted us to dwell and be sad about what was going on.”
Bist had stints playing with the Raiders, Rams and Redskins of the NFL.
He officially handed the reigns over to his son Jacob last month.
“Even though he was home sick or in the hospital, he was still writing practice plans telling us coaches what to do,” Jacob Bist told FOX40.
That's just the kind of person Chic was -- a leader who loved the game of football. That is the legacy he leaves now with the Diamondbacks.
“Especially yesterday, I could feel it and I think the team felt it, just knowing his presence wasn't there,” Jacob said. “You know, my dad wouldn't want us not playing football. He would want us out here doing our thing.”
“What he did for us on and off the field, how he helped us with teachers, schooling, just everything out there you needed, emotional support. He helped you with anything you needed, he would help you,” Pearce said.
In his own way, Chic is again helping the ones closest to him.
“It's going to be tough with him not here Friday night but he left us a good foundation and culture to build off,” Jacob said. “Everything that he has implanted at Union Mine we've done and will continue to do.”
The school is working on plans to honor coach Bist at their next home game in a couple of weeks.
His services, which are open to the public, will take place this Saturday morning at 10:30 in Placerville at St. Patrick Catholic Church.