By BRYAN URBACH
Neches Independent School District lost one of own on Friday in longtime coach and educator Lee “Coach” Snider.
Snider, a native of the Keechi community (near Buffalo), had lived in the area his entire life. He attended schools in Keechi until it merged with Buffalo, eventually graduating from Buffalo High School in 1949. He then went on to college at Sam Houston State University, where he earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees.
One of the things that Snider knew best was basketball.
His love for the game showed as his teams played well and competed highly at the state levels. Snider, who spent all but two of his years coaching at Oakwood and Neches, was recognized by many as one of the best coaches in the state during his time.
Several people spoke out on the Neches High School Reunion 2013 Facebook page about the coach, with one post containing at least 40 comments on the beloved coach.
“Aw, I love coach Snider,” said Shawn Moore, a member of the group. “He was just one of the kids at times. I have a lot fun memories of him... if you weren't playing basketball like he wanted you to, he would yell. My condolences and prayers for the family.”
“I loved Coach Snider,” Gayle Parnell Samuels also stated on Facebook. “When I came to Neches, ALL the girls were supposed to play basketball. I didn't know the first thing about basketball. He taught me to keep score, let me work the clock, and treated me as if the team couldn't function without me. He was not just a coach; he was a true teacher.”
In addition to his passion for basketball, Snider loved to fish, hunt and spend time with his family and friends.
He coached for 41 years and his time here can be remembered as a lot of good memories of people's lives that he truly touched.
“He was an awesome coach and teacher,” Tammy Malcom Vaughn posted.
Snider is survived by his wife of 51 years Joyce Marie Snider, five children, 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. today at the Neches High School Gymnasium with David Blackmon, Tommy Lee Calhoun and Coach Ott officiating. Burial will follow in Neches City Cemetery.