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CLEVELAND (WJW)– Students and staff at one local school district are grieving after the tragic death of a beloved coach who was vacationing in South Carolina.

Marzell Pink, 49, drowned in Myrtle Beach Wednesday evening, according to the police report.

Pink was a teacher and coach to many students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. On Thursday, the district issued a statement:

“Students and staff across the district are grieving the loss of a beloved member of the CMSD school community. Mr. Pink served CMSD the last three years as Dean of Engagement and as powerlifting coach at Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School and he worked for the district for decades.”


Pink was also the head coach of the Cleveland Powerlifting Club.

“I got the call from his wife. The shock of it was enormous,” said Eli Auerbach, the club’s assistant coach.

According to Auerbach, Pink died Wednesday night while on vacation in Myrtle Beach. He leaves behind a wife and two young children.

“My understanding is that someone in the water needed help and he went to help.  That is exactly what he would do,” Auerbach said.

According to CMSD, grief counselors will be on hand for students and staff for the rest of the week, and they will return when kids come back to school on Aug. 2.

“He just had a huge heart, he was always smiling,” said Ron Brinker, with USA Powerlifting Ohio.

Brinker said he witnessed Pink make a difference in many young lives.

“Just watching these kids light up when they hit a big lift and listening to him talk to them at the scoring table while they planned their attempts,” Brinker said.

Pink and the Cleveland Powerlifting Club had recently attended their very first national championship in Colorado where the team placed fifth in the nation.

Friends have started a GoFundMe account to help Pink’s wife and young children.