TAMPA — A memorial is planned Thursday at Plant High School for former principal Vincent Sussman, who died early Monday.
The program will begin at 6 p.m. at the school gymnasium, which bears Sussman's name.
Principal Rob Nelson said he expects a large crowd of staff, school alumni including former athletes, and friends.
"Vince knew a lot of people, and he made a big impact," Nelson said. "He was a good man and a strong leader. He wasn't afraid to make the tough decisions, but he made the right decision for kids."
Family and friends are preparing a photo and video presentation.
While Sussman is remembered primarily as a football coach and principal, superintendent MaryEllen Elia recounted his other contributions at Tuesday's School Board meeting.
"He certainly was a larger-than-life character and an inspiration for all of us," Elia said.
"He had been in the district from 1973 in various positions as a teacher, as a football coach, a driver's ed instructor, dean of students, an assistant principal at both Leto and Plant High School and then principal of Plant, general director of technology services and general manager of environmental services.
"He has played an essential role in the school district in many different places. Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with the Sussman family."