EIGHT MILE, Ala. (WKRG)- A youth sports coach in the Eight Mile community has been battling COVID-19 for weeks, and early this morning, he lost the fight.

Willie McCall, or “Mack,” passed away early Wednesday morning due to complications from coronavirus.

His wife Tamara McCall spoke with WKRG News 5 about her loss and the days that led up to his passing.

“He just couldn’t do it,” she said. “They said his heart was, but it was COVID fighting against all of his organs, as well as the sickle cell.”

Mack’s sickle cell anemia made him more susceptible to the virus.

Mack was a father of five, a husband, a coach and a friend to many.

Tamara says Mack fought hard, and their family was there through it all. She recalled to some of his last days.

“They let us call him and talk and play music, but of course, he couldn’t talk back because he was under sedation and then I got that call about this morning at 2:43,” Tamara said.

That call sent shock waves through his community, especially to those he coached and worked alongside.

Family and friends gathered Wednesday night at John Fagerstorm Park to remember Mack and share stories on the very field where he made his impact.

“He was always there for me no matter what I was going through, it was hey coach I got your back,” said fellow coach Tony Gibson.

Those that loved Mack said they hope, through their tragedy, people will realize the precautions are necessary and this virus is nothing to joke about.

“I just hope people take it seriously, you never think it is going to be you,” Tamara said. “My husband had a heart as big as Mobile if not bigger, and he will be greatly missed.”