We missed this one, but this man will be missed:Jack Cassels headed to that ‘Castle in the Sky’

Jack Cassels passed away last week at the age of 70 and I missed this one, but for sure, I can tell you this man/coach/husband/father/friend to all, will be missed….

No pretentions with Jack Cassels, just a good man who believed in helping his community and he coached youth basketball at the local YMCA on West Market Street for many, many years…He also got into the AAU Travel Basketball coaching scene back when AAU ball was just getting started and worked/spent many seasons at the ‘Y’ and with the AAU teams along side his good friend, Clarence ‘Sneaky’ Williamson…Jack and Sneaky made a good team and they had many good teams at the ‘Y’ and on the road and they helped young coaches like Justin Smith get started in the business.

According to my research, Jack graduated from Charlotte Catholic High School in 1960 and he was inducted into their Hall of Fame, back in 2004…Jack played college football at the University of North Carolina and he was a true ‘Tar Heel’…Jack was a three-sport athlete at Charlotte Catholic back in high school and he was named the top athlete in the Charlotte area on more than one occasion, by Max Muhleman(sportswriter) and the Charlotte Observer….Jack’s son John became a three-sport athlete at Greensboro’s Grimsley High School and John was named the top athlete at Grimsley during his senior year around 1987…John was one of those athletes and especially with his basketball, that had a mind-set that he would not lose and he would not leave, until he found a way to win and once the winning started for John he would take over a game and he would own the court, until he decided to go home and I think it was the same way for Jack Cassels…

Jack was always in the mood for a good game of basketball and it didn’t matter if it was 21, horse or even a quick game of cow, Jack had the shot and you could always tell that Jack loved the game and he had something for the game that so many people are missing and forgetting today, Jack respected the game…..Jack knew that the game ‘giveth’ and that the game ‘taketh away’……

Jack Cassels passed that respect for the game on to his son John, who is now passing that love and respect for the game on his sons, ‘Little Jack’ and Collin….

That is the one thing about Jack and John Cassels that I will remember….Their love, but also their respect for the game and they way they treated people in and around the game…..

Jack Cassels made a major impact and he had a very positive influence on a lot of people with his kind and humble spirit and he will be remembered from now on, by the one’s whose lives he touched…Thoughts go out to his wife Sondra his son John and John’s family…..

Durham brothers, O’Fallon Brothers, Billy Thanos, Bart Manning, Jimmy Hollifield, Stuart Albright, Ethan Albright, Chase, Walker Holt, Sam Holt, Brian Doss, Charlie Jones and the roll call goes on, for many a brave basketball soul, that had the pleasure of seeing Jack Cassels at the Forest Valley Outdoor Basketball Court, over the years….

RIP and thanks for the basketball memories, Mr. Jack Cassels, one of the nicest people that you would ever meet….


  1. Wow sorry to hear of Jack’s passing. Sorry to see another old Y coach leave us like I believe it was Mike Evans last year or year before last. Great coaching fraternity in those days at the Y. Judge Albright, Mike Booth, Harry Parrish, Donald Moore,(yes that Donald Moore) Gary and Danny Thomas and myself just to name a few. Great knowledge was passed among each other and some of the games were epic.What a wonderful coach he was…

  2. Dan, Gary Thomas, Mike Booth, Mike Harris, Dave Farris, Jack Cassels, Sneaky Williamson, Donald Moore, Judge Albright, Harry Parrish and all of those names that have been mentioned, that was a group of Patron Saints acting as basketball coaches…..

    Great group of men leading our future leaders……

  3. mr. cassels will be missed he was a great man. On a side bar andy his son John graduated from grimsley in 1987 along side of judge stuart albright class of 1987 graduate. I do remember those days back in middle 70’s to early 80’s playing basketball at the downtown y seeing our parents up in the small stands in the rafters, it was a lot of fun.

  4. That just shows you how crazy time can be….John would be around 43 now and I still remember basketball with and against John, Stuart and Ethan Albright….Time has moved on quickly….Stuarr was an excellent football player and not a bad basketball player too…Coach K should have used Stuart in a Reggie Love-type role, minus all of the drama that went along with Reggie….

  5. i never knew Jack that well met him a couple of times but i knew John well -one of the nicest young man i have ever known-one of the best athletes in that neighborhood along with the albright brothers thoughts and prayers to John and his family

  6. Okay it was Mike Harris that passed and how could I have forgotten Dave Farris. You were right, all really good men who loved the game and the kids.Man we had some great nights at the old Ham’s on Friendly drinking some drafts and talking basketball.

  7. Mr. Cassels was a class act during my time at the Y….He and Sneaky taught life and basketball the RIGHT way!!!! I didn’t come along until 99 but I had the pleasure of knowing Jack and Hawk and they were 2 of the best at the Y amongst a lot of others…..

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