Sports

Los Angeles Chargers Player Creates $10K Scholarship Fund In Memory Of Stoneman Douglas Football Coach

by Kristin Marguerite Doidge

March 9, 2018
Los Angeles Chargers Corey Liuget. Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Chargers.

When Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle and philanthropist Corey Liuget heard about the horrific shooting that claimed the lives of 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, he knew he wanted to do something to help.

Liuget was particularly moved that football coach Aaron Feis threw himself in front of bullets to shield students, sacrificing his own life in the process, so the Miami native created the Coach Aaron Feis Scholarship Fund in his honor with a special announcement and visit to the school on March 6.

“Not all of us would jump in front of bullets to save others,” he said. “I learned he lived his life by putting others first and himself second. That’s an important lesson for all of us. I have to applaud him and felt I had to do something in memory of him.”

Feis, who had worked at Stoneman Douglas for eight years as a security guard and assistant coach, was a graduate of the school and a passionate advocate for the students, reportedly lending a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen whenever needed.

Corey Liuget speaks with Stoneman Douglas students. Photo courtesy of The Eleven Society.

“I know Aaron personally. I coached with him. My two boys played for him,” Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters at a news conference following the shooting. “The kids in this community loved him. They adored him.”

The scholarship will be awarded to a deserving graduating member of the football team who exhibits the traits Coach Feis valued, such as a strong work ethic, character, generosity, and a GPA of at least 2.5. Liuget started the scholarship fund off with a $10,000 donation and has also created a GoFundMe page where others can add to it to show their support for the victims and survivors.

Wearing their “Faith, Football, Family” Stoneman Douglas T-shirts, the football team joined Liuget on the field for a workout. He encouraged them to continue to show kindness to one another in the weeks and months ahead. “I’m here to talk to you guys about football and also about life,” Liuget told them. “Keep true to each other. Keep your energy positive.”

For Liuget, football was a positive influence in his own life growing up. He says it’s what helped him learn discipline, and also what helped him overcome adversity. Having lost his father when he was just 4 years old, Liuget is no stranger to coping with the grief of losing a loved one. But he was struck by the strength of spirit the players showed at Stoneman Douglas, echoing the eloquence of their classmates who have organized the March 24 March for Our Lives to protest gun violence.

“The kids expressed that they were looking forward to going to college and making the best of their lives by carrying on the legacy of Coach Feis,” Liuget says. “Most importantly, they are going to be OK.”

Share image courtesy of The Eleven Society.

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