Smyrna, TN mourns beloved softball coach


SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Smyrna community is mourning the loss of beloved softball coach, father and musician Zach Boetcher after he passed away unexpectedly on Monday.

Three of Boetcher’s daughters play softball and he began coaching for the Smyrna Fastpitch League in 2021. The league said they plan to hold a candlelight vigil for Boetcher on Wednesday evening at 8 p.m.

Close friends remember Boetcher as a family man who went out of his way to encourage players even when they weren’t on his team.

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β€œHe always takes the girls aside and tells them to give everything in life, not even just in softball, but also in life, in school,” said good friend Brandon Thompson.

Boetcher’s wife, Jordyn, told News 2 that the two welcomed their fifth child two weeks ago. She said Boetcher wasn’t feeling well this weekend when she walked into a grocery store. Then he fell and hit his head. He was flown to St. Thomas West and donated his organs.

Boetcher’s organ donation was one of many acts of kindness remembered by family friends. Kellie White, whose daughter plays softball with one of Boetcher’s daughters, recalled a fond memory of a softball tournament.

β€œAt our last tournament, Lily and Maddy were together and a few girls had problems with their helmets. He took the shoelaces out of his shoes and tied their helmets so they could work for the tournament,” White said. β€œHe literally walked around all day without laces in his shoes.”

Parents of the team also recalled that Boetcher recently organized a travel ball tournament for an 11-year-old teammate who had lost her mother, and all proceeds raised were donated to her.

β€œZach came in and assured her that she was loved and that she had a community and a family in all of us. That was big,” White said.

Zach grew up locally and attended Middle College High School. He also produced inspiring music under the name KING, which stands for Knowledge Inspiring New Greatness.

“I don’t think he would want to fit into the box of a Christian rapper. I mean, he was an artist who was a Christian, who loved Christ,” said his childhood best friend Darrius Thompson.

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Franklin Road Academy choir director Ashley Willits shared a video of Boetcher recently performing at the school.

β€œI think the inspiration that people got from him by meeting him in person, they will also get through his music,” Darrius Thompson said.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Boetcher’s wife and five children. More information can be found here.