Brian McAllister spent nearly half of his life with Manatee High School and its tennis program, first as a student in the 1980s and then for two decades as the head coach of the Hurricanes girls.
On Saturday, less than a month into his 19th season coaching the Canes, McAllister died from complications of a yearlong battle with neck cancer.
He was 47.
McAllister graduated from Manatee High School in 1985 and was part of three state championship teams for the now-defunct Bradenton Academy.
He then went on to play tennis for two years at Tennessee.
After his second season, he transferred to South Florida for his final two seasons and remained a devout Bull ever since.
He had season tickets to USF football and the Buccaneers.
On Friday nights in the fall, he'd spend his evenings on the sidelines and Hurricane football games as part of the chain gang.
He took over as the head boys tennis coach at his alma mater in 1996 and for the next 20 years he was a fixture at Manatee.
He spent eight years running the boys team until Alan Johnson joined the program in 2005, at which point he took over the girls team for his final 11 seasons.
"He did a lot of the technical stuff out there and then taught me along the way, was a great help out there," Johnson said. "He was fantastic.
"I play well, but I don't
play like that well. He was always more technical and everything than I was."
McAllister still held his title as the Canes' head coach, although his deteriorating health kept him from the sidelines for the entire first month of the season and chemotherapy sessions disrupted his presence at times in 2015.
His final appearances on the courts at Manatee came during the Hurricanes' first day of practice.
As far as Johnson knows, it was the last time McAllister left his home to go anywhere other than a hospital.
The Canes set up a chair for McAllister on the edge of the court and he sat for two hours to watch his team play one last time.
"When I told some people he went there, they were in total shock, total disbelief. Like, 'He did not,'" Johnson said. "He loved it. He just loved it."
Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at Saints Peter and Paul the Apostles Catholic Church in Bradenton.
A celebration of life will be held at 4 p.m. at the Lost Kangaroo Pub.
McAllister also worked full-time as vice president of sales at RTI Insurance Services in Sarasota.
Johnson will remain the head coach of the boys program and Mark Bilter, who is the boys golf coach, will continue serving as the interim head coach of the girls.
"He's positively affected so many students and families," athletic director Danielle LaPoint said. "It's just a loss for our community, whether it's to our coaching family or to family as a whole. Everybody who talks about him has positive things to say about him."