A hero coach, teacher and Dix Hills native were honored at last night’s ESPY awards hosted by ESPN.
Scott Beigel, one of the 17 people killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting earlier this year, was to be honored, along with two of his fellow coaches at the school, this year’s Best Coach Award. Family members of Aaron Feis, Beigel and Chris Hixon accepted the award.
In addition to their work as coaches, the men are being honored for “their immeasurable bravery in the face of danger and for their ultimate sacrifice to protect the lives of countless students,” said Alison Overholt, vice president and editor in chief of ESPN The Magazine.
Beigel, 35, grew up in Dix Hills and graduated from Half Hollow Hills High School East.
At Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, he served as a geography teacher, and also coached the school’s cross-country team.
Witnesses of the Feb. 14 shooting say Beigel was shot while closing his classroom door after unlocking and opening it briefly to let more students take shelter.
One of Beigel’s students, Kelsey Friend, described her teacher’s actions to Good Morning America.
“When he opened the door, he had to re-lock it so we could stay safe, but he didn’t get the chance to,” Friend said. “And I’m so thankful that he was there to help everybody who did live in that classroom because he was in the doorway and the door was still open, and the shooter probably didn’t know we were in there because Mr. Beigel was laying on the floor.”
A memorial fund, the Scott J. Beigel Memorial Fund, has since been established by his family to provide scholarships to summer camp for underprivileged kids.
Earlier this year, the Huntington Town Board honored Beigel by re-naming Hart Place in Dix Hills, where Beigel grew up and his family still resides, to Scott J. Beigel Way.