Bay Area wrestling coach taken by cancer will be missed by many - WFLA News Channel 8

Beloved Bay Area wrestling coach succumbs to cancer

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A popular wrestling coach from East Bay High School in Gibsonton has lost his battle with colon and liver cancer.  Coach Tom Lota, 63, passed away Sunday morning at a hospice center in Sun City.

Lota coached kids at East Bay from 1979 to 2001 with an impressive record of 227 wins to 71 losses and was recognized as a National Wrestling Hall of Fame coach.  His brother, Chuck Lota, says he was more than just a coach to his students, he was also a mentor who  put many kids on the right track to lead successful lives.  "In the past week, more than two hundred people, mostly former students, came to the hospice to see him."  Chuck Lota said.  "They came from all over the state to thank him for how he changed their lives."

A memorial service for the coach has not yet been finalized but Chuck Lota says it may be held at the East Bay High gymnasium, named after his brother, because they're expecting a large attendance.

 

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