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Stratford Academy lost a championship coach Saturday evening.

John Paul Gaddy coached the girls' basketball team to two GISA state titles, and four region championships. He also coached the Eagles' boys' team for five seasons, and won a region title in the 2006-2007 season.

The former coach was a Stratford basketball player for one season. He transferred to the school from Texas in 1985, and joined coach Grady Smith's basketball team. After that, he was a "natural fit," for Macon, Smith said.

"I wish everyone who went to school here loved Stratford as much as [Gaddy] did," Smith added.

Gaddy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011. He made a comeback not long after the diagnosis, but passed away this weekend in hospice care after the illness returned.

Gaddy was 47 years old.

Stratford will celebrate his life in a ceremony on Thursday. That celebration will take place at 5:30, at the school.

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