RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Paul Keyes won 603 games as the head coach of the VCU baseball team. But the real stat that matters, is how many lives that he touched. And that number cannot be tabulated.
Keyes passed away last week after a six month battle with cancer. Thousands packed the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on Wednesday for his funeral. Then most of the crowd headed to the Siegel Center for a celebration of his life.
Keyes was honored by the players who knew him as coach, the family that knew him as Paul, the friends who knew him as Key-dog, and the lucky few who knew him as all three.
After growing up in the Tidewater area, he played baseball at Old Dominon, before becoming an assistant at VCU and Vanderbilt. He took over the VCU program 18 years ago, and brought the program to prominence, and every title the program has ever earned.
Old Dominion's athletic director, and personal friend, Dr. Wood Selig announced that a section of the ODU baseball complex will be named after Keyes.
The following friends spoke at the celebration: Chris Pinder, former VCU baseball player; Shawn Stiffler, interim VCU baseball coach; Tim Druzgala, teammate at ODU; Dr. Wood Selig, ODU athletics director; Tony Guzzo, former VCU head baseball coach; Cla Meredith, former VCU baseball player, Ted Gary, close friend, and Charles Norris read a letter written from Emily Neifield.