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“Impact can never be measured in years. It’s measured in relationships and the legacy that you leave behind. Today, this Church filled with the people that are in here is a testimony to that, and it’s a testimony to Otis Anderson.”
That was the opening sentence from former UCF head coach Josh Heupel at the funeral of former UCF running back Otis Anderson Jr on Tuesday. Over the course of the next few minutes, Heupel went on to deliver a heartfelt, emotional, and tear-jerking eulogy to a Golden Knight that he shared a special relationship with. Heupel was the head coach of Anderson for three years while the two were at the University of Central Florida. These remarks weren’t on display for the press, nor was it even really about a football coach and a football player. No, it’s easy to tell that Heupel and Anderson shared a connecting bond that went so far beyond the football field.
The following eulogy is split into two separate videos, each one as impactful as the other. Heupel spoke about Anderson in a touching way, sharing stories of what he was like on and off the field. Heupel spoke about what was most important to Anderson, and spoiler alert, it wasn’t related to football.
“You’ll be remembered forever,” Heupel said. “You were and always will be loved. The greatest testimony to your life is that we’re all better moving forward because we have a piece of you going with us.”
“Love you,” Heupel said while holding back tears, looking in the direction of the memorial center stage.
Here's the second half from Heupel. Really kind of him to fly into Jacksonville to honor the life of Otis Anderson Jr. and talk about him.
Heupel coached Anderson for 3 years at UCF, but this is way bigger than football. pic.twitter.com/xfMvVvrtr8
— Jason Beede (@therealBeede) December 7, 2021
When the initial news surrounding the passing of Otis Anderson Jr came out, Heupel sent out a heartfelt tweet remembering his former player.
Saddened and stunned by the passing of Otis Anderson Jr. Tough and gritty, fun and full of laughter, he made such a positive impact on our university, community, and our locker room. He was an unbelievable teammate. My condolences go out to the entire UCF family. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/ehG9JyoL5Q
— Josh Heupel (@coachjoshheupel) November 30, 2021
“Former University of Central Florida and University Christian football star Otis Anderson Jr., 23, died in a double shooting Monday night [Nov. 29] that also left his mother hospitalized — neighbors, former teammates and UCF leaders said Tuesday,” according to a report from Channel 4 News in Jacksonville.
Author’s note: Rest in peace, Otis Anderson Jr.