Former Antioch Community High School football player Richard "Joe" Jordan was remembered there Wednesday, one day after he died in the Iraq war.
Antioch High Athletic Director Steve Schoenfelder issued a statement on the death of Jordan, a 1998 graduate, saying he was an outstanding student-athlete for the Sequoits.
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In addition to football, Jordan was a member of Antioch High's acclaimed Tom-Tom student newspaper staff for two years, Schoenfelder said. Jordan went from Antioch High to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and most recently lived in the Detroit area.
Schoenfelder and others in the Antioch High community first learned of Jordan's Tuesday death from news reports in the Cincinnati area, where many of his family members live. Jordan was an Army staff sergeant, according to the Kentucky Post.
"He was just a great guy," Schoenfelder said in an interview Wednesday night. "He always had a smile on his face. He'd do anything you asked."
Jordan e-mailed a Tom-Tom sponsor about a week ago, Schoenfelder said.
Del Pechauer was Antioch's head football coach when Jordan played there as a defensive back and on special teams. After graduating, he served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Sequoits.
"He was a really good kid," said Pechauer, now a Sequoits football assistant. "He always had a good personality. He was smiling all the time. He wanted to help out any way he could and we were more than happy to have him."
Official Defense Department information about Jordan's death was not available late Wednesday.
The Kentucky Post, quoting an uncle who works for a Cincinnati television station, reported he died in a vehicle rollover.
Schoenfelder said he plans to talk to head football coach Brian Glashagel about ways to publicly remember Jordan at Antioch High when the season resumes in the next academic year. Schoenfelder was on the football staff when Jordan played.
• Daily Herald staff writer Joe Aguilar contributed to this report.