LAURINBURG — Scotland High School’s athletic director, Tommy Britt, has died in a Charlotte hospital after complications from surgery, multiple sources confirmed Thursday.
Britt, 50, was taken to Scotland Memorial Hospital on May 13, and was later flown to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, for apparent bleeding in the brain. He was initially expected to make a full recovery, but put on life support Wednesday after complications following two surgeries.
Scotland football coach Richard Bailey said the news was devastating.
Britt coached Scotland’s baseball team from 1993 to 2012, when he stepped down to focus on the role of athletic director.
Al Blades is the superintendent of athletics with Scotland County Parks and Recreation and had known of Britt since he was a high school player at Richmond Senior.
“I remember watching him play baseball at Richmond,” Blades said. “He meant so much to the community as the baseball coach for so long and then athletic director. He was a cornerstone of the community when it came to athletics. He will be missed.”
Britt’s son, Curt, is currently a pitcher for the University of South Carolina. The school’s former baseball coach turned athletic director Ray Tanner posted a message of condolence on Twitter Thursday afternoon.
“Coach Tommy Britt was an inspiration in all aspects of life—husband, father, teacher, and coach. My prayers go out to Curt and family,” the message read.
Lumberton baseball coach Paul Hodges said he first met Britt in 1990 and the two worked summer camps together for about seven years.
“Tommy was a super guy, a great baseball man and smart coach. I always looked forward to playing him because we knew his teams would be fundamentally sound,” Hodges said. “The baseball community lost a great model. He was a first class guy in the way he spoke to the kids, the way he met you the way every time you went to play. We had a great relationship as far as being friends but being competitors, and then being friends again when the game was over.”
Tommy Hatcher is a photographer who is on the sidelines for every Scotland football game. He started assisting with the program in 1994, which was when he met Britt.
“Coach Tommy Britt, you made Scotland High School and Scotland County a better place all around for moving here and being a teacher to so many. You will be missed, especially by the young people who will never get to know you. Thanks for everything Coach! God Bless the Britt family on their and our loss,” Hatcher said on Facebook.
There were other messages posted on social media throughout the day from coaches and others on the news.
Justin McNickle also works with Scotland County Parks and Recreation and knew Britt as a student at Scotland High School.
“Coach Britt was a great leader for young athletes and baseball players throughout his time here in Scotland County,” McNickle said.