Howard Eugene Stearns Jr., 64, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle and coach, passed away on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020 at the Brittany House in Marietta, Georgia.

Howard, also known as “Coach Stearns,” was born on Aug. 28, 1955 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, He was the son of Howard Eugene Stearns Sr. and the late Olga Stearns.

Coach Stearns was a well-respected football coach who coached for over 30 years. He coached at multiple schools on the college level and high school level, which included Eastern New Mexico University (Portales, New Mexico), Alabama A&M University (Normal, Alabama), Benedict College (Columbia, South Carolina), Eastern Arizona College (Thatcher, Arizona), Lanett High School (Lanett, Alabama), Forest Park High School (Forest Park, Georgia) and Dougherty County High School (Albany, Georgia).

Throughout his coaching career, Coach Stearns was always willing to help anyone who needed a helping hand. He always came across a tough, no nonsense individual, but for those that knew “Coach” understood that Coach Stearns would to anything to help any and every person that crossed his path.

Coach Stearns always emphasized sportsmanship, fairness, dedication and commitment, teamwork, humility, confidence, respect and the value of hard work among those individuals closest to him.

Coach Stearns is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Dawn Stearns; father, Howard Stearns Sr. of Hollywood; children, Deanna and Michael Richards of Douglasville, Georgia, Tiffany and Javad Watson of Fort Myers, Florida, Tirzhana Stearns of Valley and Jamaal and Deedra Stearns of Atlanta, Georgia; nephew, David Stearns of Hollywood; grandchildren, Jamiya Richards, James Richards Jr., Deyante Bennett, Valencia Bennett, Jada Richards, Terrance Bennett Jr., Jamaal Stearns Jr., Christian Richards and Jaylen Stearns and a host of relatives, friends and former players.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Olga Stearns; sister, Rosemary Stearns and nephew, Preston Stearns.

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