Parkland student-athlete wins scholarship created in slain coach’s honor

Parkland student-athlete wins scholarship created in slain coach’s honor (WPEC)

Chris Hixon’s love for student-athletes lives on.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School wrestling coach and athletic director died on Valentine’s Day while shielding students from bullets. The family has launched the Chris Hixon Athletic Scholarship Fund to carry on his legacy.

Survivor Jordan Fleming is this year’s first-ever scholarship winner.

“It is the best feeling I’ve ever felt,” Fleming said.

The 18-year-old just graduated and was the captain of the wrestling team. He describes Hixon as a second father-figure.

“He just had a bunch of qualities that you would want to look up to,” Fleming said.

Fleming says finishing up the season without him was hard. He recalls the moment he heard the tragic news.

“It just felt unreal, like that feeling when you’re in a nightmare, and you’re not waking up,” he said.

Hixon was the school’s security monitor. The father of two also served for in the U.S. military and was an Iraq war veteran.

“I still think about him every day,” Fleming said. “I’ll stay up some nights just thinking about him.”

$2,500 will go annually to student-athletes graduating from each of the three schools where Hixon worked: Blanche Ely high School in Pompano Beach, South Broward High in Hollywood and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

“I feel like it is going to be amazing for the other kids who will carry on his legacy,” Fleming said. “As an athletic director, he wants people to pursue their goals of the sports and dreams."

Jordan will go to Florida Atlantic University in the fall with plans to study engineering.

The Hixon Family says they’re proud to continue Hixon’s legacy and they look forward to distributing more scholarships in the years to come.

Coaches Hixon, Aaron Feis and Scott Beigel are hailed as heroes and will receive ESPN’s "Best Coach Award" at the ESPY’s next week.

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