Family and friends remember Hickman coach Arnel Monroe

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COLUMBIA -Family, friends, students and athletes filled Hickman's Alumni Stadium in purple on Thursday to remember the life of football coach Arnel "Spanky" Monroe.

Monroe died Sunday morning from a heart attack. He was 49 years old.

There was a processional of the family that followed with words from his son, nephew and friends.

Arnel's son, Ben shared a few words about how great of a man his father was. 

"He was a coach for all of Hickman football teams, he was a great man for Alpha [Phi Alpha Fraternity members] and others," Ben said.

Family and friends shared tears of sorrow and happiness, recalling stories about Monroe's passion and kind heart.

Friends that spoke said they want people to remember how he spent his life and celebrate his life the way he deserves it. 

"Kids that didn't even go to Hickman or didn't even have any direct contact with Arnel, that knew him, respected him, listened to him and followed him and that way I think he's offered this community a great service and I'm proud to say I was his friend," said Dave Geiger, a long time friend.