In the early hours of Thanksgiving on November 23, 2023, Head Freshman Football Coach Mike Fox of Crimson Cliffs High School passed away at the age of 41 from a sudden heart attack.

This loss turned what should have been a joyous holiday into a tragedy for a young family just beginning to flourish.

To assist the Fox family with this loss, the community surrounding the Crimson Cliffs High School football team pulled out all the stops to help the family of their friend and colleague.

Head Football Coach Wayne Alofipo of Crimson Cliffs High School was just as shocked as their family to hear about the death of Mike.

Alofipo said, “It’s kind of a tough deal, right? I mean, 41 years old and ends up passing away due to a heart attack. It’s just an unfortunate situation for every day, especially for his wife and kids, it’s kind of a sad deal.”

Instead of sitting and watching as the Fox family struggles to live with the loss of Coach Mike, Alofipo and the rest of Crimson Cliffs High School decided to honor him by assisting his wife and kids with several fundraising projects.

Alofipo said, “We had a couple of fundraisers that people in the community kind of rallied together. Fiz did one where every tip that went to every Fiz in town, the amount of tips that came to the owners, they were going to match it and double it up and send it over to their family.”

The big event was based off a request that Mike’s son Charlie made when he was informed of his father’s sudden passing.

Alofipo said, “They said they informed Charlie of the situation and the first two things out of Charlie’s mouth was one, who was going to coach his third-grade tackle football team going forward, because Mike was also the head coach of that team. Then two, he just had one wish, and that was just to be able to play football.”

Alofipo heard this wish and worked together with the parents and people of the community to organize a flag football game with Charlie’s third grade football team. Hundreds of people arrived at the fundraising game on November 27 to show their love for the late coach, and to participate in activities meant to raise money for the Fox family.

Proceedings from a silent auction, bake sale, and food truck sales all went toward the Fox family as they mourned the loss of their father.

Even Coach Mike’s daughters participated in the halftime show with the cheerleaders to show their love for their dad.

Alofipo said, “It hasn’t settled in yet, but eventually will when this is all over and done with the funeral and everything, we wanted them to feel that as life goes on, they’ll have our support going forward.”

In the aftermath of the state victory for the Crimson Cliff’s Highschool Football team before Thanksgiving, Alofipo feels that victory was a tribute to the seeds of passion Coach Fox planted into the winning team.

Alofipo said, “In my eyes we were able to send Mike off as a state champion, and I think there was no better way. Mike was an integral part in that he helped give the first taste of high school football that these young men have had for the last four years. We see no better way to send him off as the champion he is.”

If you’d like to assist the Fox family with their living expenses in the wake of Mike’s death, you can donate to the GoFundMe page set up in his honor.

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