Monday

Bryan Young

Who was Bryan Young? Oh my...Bryan was a force to be reckoned with. Everyone stood taller than Bryan, but Bryan didn't let his size determine how anyone was going to talk or treat him. He was a jockey, bouncer, an assistant wrestling coach and history teacher at a local high school in town as well as the men's soccer coach and cross country coach at the same high school. While doing all of this through his life he was working on his masters degree to become a Vice Principal then Principal as well as President of the Professional Educators of Norman. As he was Principal he continued his education working on his Juris Doctorate Degree before achieving his life long dream of becoming an attorney.

The man had a intense competitive nature that had no bounds. Lose was not in his vocabulary. In college Bryan was an athlete who wrestled and won the heart of gymnast Lisa Cockriel. After college someone suggested that Bryan might try becoming a jockey as he was so small, understand Bryan had never been on a horse before. Bryan didn't let that stop him. For six years he was a professional jockey before an almost tragic accident which could have taken his life. A horse stumbled during a race, flipped and fell on top of Bryan and broke his neck.

Bryan survived and decided that he needed a safer form of work so he went to work in education for 17 years. Bryan would fight for your ideas. He would support you, encourage you, lift you up, have your six. Fight for the right for handicapped children to have an education. If you were wrong he would tell you but he would support you. If there was an athletic or student event out of town he would drive to watch his students participate or perform. He felt education was important and he wanted to make sure everyone had an education, the best education. If you didn't have books he would make sure you had books and more. He had a heart of gold.  One of his former students summed it up this way

"If a fair measure of a person's life is the positive impact that he left on others, and I think that's the best metric we have, then we should all hope to have lives like Bryan Young. He always exuded a genuine care and sense of humor towards his students and others. It's hard to make sense of what happened, but there's a small comfort in the timelessness of our memories with him."


I met Bryan when he became my daughters soccer coach. He was tough but fair. He had never coached girls before and boy was he in for the challenge. Those girls sure gave him a hard time but they loved him. Bryan really had to put up with hormones plus! He said he would never coach another girls club team...ever again...he did. He went on inspiring young minds to succeed both on and off the athletic field.

Bryan fulfilled his dream to become an attorney 3 years ago. Fighting for the everyday joe. Taking cases that were important to him. One is still pending...you guessed it, has to do with education and the handicapped.

Five years ago Bryan and Lisa brought home a beautiful baby boy, Braxton, adopted like Bryan was. The light and joy of both Bryan and Lisa.

Sadly Bryan was murdered last Tuesday night by a deranged man who broke into his home because Bryan was representing this man's wife in a nasty divorce case. This person went on to murder his ex-wife as well and set fire to her home the same evening, then took his own life.

I wish you could have known Bryan, I really do. These few sentences hardly tell the story of Bryan, the generosity of his heart, his kindness, his humor, his sternness yet understanding when working with his students. The man loved his wife and his child dearly and it showed.

So little Braxton, when you look to the heavens at night, look for a new star, look for the brightest star that is shinning because that will be your daddy looking down at you, saying "It's ok son, I've got your six."

Rest now Bryan, your work is done.

Go in Peace.