New Albany coach recounts struggles through tragedy

By Riley Manning/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – New Albany head football coach Ron Price spoke on Thursday to the Fellowship of Christian Business Leaders about the tragic death of his late wife Amanda Price and the gospel-fulfilling legacy she left behind.
In November 2011, Price experienced what he thought to be the worst feeling in the world, riding home on a bus with his team in silence after a season-ending loss to Cleveland High School.
“That long bus ride back gives a coach a lot of time to second guess himself,” he said. “I thought, ‘This has got to be the worst feeling in the world.’ Our kids had worked so hard and put it all on the line to lose like that.”
This thought would return to him less than a month later. On Dec. 5, after a day of Christmas shopping, Amanda was at home and started to take out their new pet bulldog, only to find an intruder attempting to break in.
“I heard her fiddling with the lock from the bedroom, then I heard her scream. She wasn’t one to get frightened easily, so I knew something was wrong,” he said.
Running to her aid, Price was shot by the intruder, and woke up in a hospital bed to hear from his pastor and coaching staff the news of his wife’s death
“The more I read my devotional, the madder I got,” he said. “I went to Amanda’s dad, who was a Baptist preacher, wanting to know why we were having to go through this.”
Price found the answer to that question unknowable. But he did find his wife’s prayer journal, which she wrote in every night after reading scripture.
“I never knew how valuable that would prove to be,” he said. “But reading it now is awesome.”
Price recounted the ways Amanda had blessed him, as well as their families. He urged members of the Fellowship not to take their spouses for granted.
“Many of you will leave here today to see your spouse. Let them know what they mean to you,” he said.
Most importantly, Price said Amanda showed Christ’s love to everyone she came in contact with through the football team and her job as a speech pathologist for the New Albany school district.
“I found a letter from one of her students thanking her for being a friend who listened and believed in them,” he said. “I truly wish the young man who broke into my house had an Amanda Price in his life who cared enough about him to get to know him as a person and show him Christ.”
riley.manning@journalinc.com