Joe Popp, who served on head coach Jim Hickey's staff in the 1960s, died at his Mooresville home July 19. He was 82.
Popp had an outstanding playing career at Catawba College in the 1950s and then coached Mooresville High to the 1961 state championship. He moved on to the collegiate and pro ranks, working at Carolina, George Washington, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech before spending five years in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns.
"The Lord has been good to me," Popp told a biographer at Catawba. "Every school I went to, there were moments there that were so great. Each was different and had something special to it."
A celebration of Popp's life is planned Monday and Tuesday, July 23-24, in Mooresville. Visitation is from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home at 464 East Plaza Drive. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church, 659 Carpenter Drive, followed by a processional down Main Street to the Joe Popp Stadium at Mooresville Senior High.