Longtime Mann coach Pinckney passes away

GREENVILLE - Joe Pinckney, longtime assistant track coach at J.L. Mann Academy, passed away overnight at Greenville Memorial Hospital.

Rhett Moss, head track coach at Mann, said the Pinckney family called him early Saturday morning with the news of his long-time friend's passing.

"My heart is broken at losing a brother and friend so unexpectedly," Moss told scrunners.com.
  Moss said he had spoken with Pinckney by phone Friday.

"I don't know if I'll ever recover from this," Moss said.

The two first met while Pinckney was coaching at rival Riverside High.

"We would talk to each other until, one day, he showed up at a practice and never left," Moss said.
  "We just hit it off together. We weren't like coaches, we were like blood brothers - loving kids and loving what we do."

Pinckney started under Moss as a volunteer track coach before he was hired as an assistant coach.

"He was a triple jump guru," Moss said. "He knew all the ins and outs of the triple jump."

Pinckney was inducted into the SCTCCCA Hall of Fame in 2015.
  SCTCCCA President Eric Cummings said Pinckney's passing "leaves a void in the track world."

"Over his career and life, (Pinckney) impacted the lives of so many young adults and coaches," Cummings said.

Cummings, who coached with Pinckney during his first few years at Riverside, remembers Pinckney as a coach who would help any athlete or coach that had questions.

"He was always working the jump events at any meet and (he) was always smiling. He would run the event, pull tape or rake," Cummings said. "He was a class act.

"The SCTCCCA lost a great man today," Cummings said. "Our prayers go out to his family, teammates and coaching staff at J.L. Mann."