WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) — The athletic director at Woonsocket High School died after injuring himself in a fall last week while refereeing a basketball game, education officials said Wednesday.
Superintendent Giovanna Donoyan sent a message to the school community mourning long-time coach and educator George Nasuti. He was 52.
"Please take a moment to honor him with your students and each other," she wrote. "Share with others his love of this great city, respectful nature and honorable character."
Nasuti's family said he was officiating a basketball game in Burrillville on Friday night when he fell and hit his head.
Nasuti also served as administrator of the school district's education evaluation program and was a former principal of Woonsocket High. A Facebook page called "Prayers for George Nasuti" was flooded by well-wishers after the accident.
Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, who has known Nasuti since they went to elementary school together in the city, praised him as a public servant, role model, and civic leader, according to The Woonsocket Call. The newspaper reported that Nasuti died Tuesday night.
"He was everything bundled up into one person that you'd hope your own child would become," she said.
Cumberland High School Athletic Director Frank Geiselman called Nasuti a "super family man" who loved sports and athletics.
"It's just tough to replace people like George, people who go out of their way just to do whatever they can and put the time in," Geiselman told the paper. "He didn't do it for any awards. He did it because he loved it."