Community remembers coaching legend, mentor Theo Cribbs, Jr.

Family and friends remember Theo Cribbs, Jr. as a humble man who made a big impact on the lives of generations of Wichitans.
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 4:28 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A man who sought to better his community through coaching and mentorship died this weekend. Theo Cribbs, Jr. was 84 years old.

Family and friends remember Cribbs as a humble man who made a big impact on the lives of generations of Wichitans. In the process of improving lives around him, Cribbs played a major role in popularizing youth football in Wichita. For 50 years, he provided opportunities for Black children in the community who didn’t have anywhere to compete.

Cedric Payne, a fellow coach, was among the many Wichitans impacted by Cribbs. He touched on the challenge of forging ahead following the death of the longtime coach and mentor.

“It’s going to be tough, so I can’t really say that I’m over it. But I know he wouldn’t want me or anybody else to be too down too long about it,” Payne said.

To honor Cribbs, there will be a balloon release at 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 in McAdams Park.