A former John Tyler High School football player who reportedly died in Hurricane Harvey-related flooding is being described as a selfless man, a faithful friend and a caring and effective coach.
Ruben Jordan, a League City resident who grew up in Tyler, died after he went missing in the floods Saturday.
His family and friends described the former Clear Creek High School coach as a man who was always ready to help.
“He was just a great man that put other people before himself and he just died doing what he would normally do and that’s helping others,” his niece Melissa Magana, of Tyler, said, alluding to reports that Jordan died while trying to help rescue people from the floodwaters.
Longtime friend Dwyke Williams, of Dallas, described Jordan as reserved, though his demeanor changed dramatically in the sports arena.
The two met at Dogan Junior High where they played football together.
"He was a quiet guy," Williams said. "He didn't talk much, but when he got on the football field, he was a monster."
Several people who knew him took to social media with condolences and memories after learning the news.
"He helped me with Algebra 1,” Cindy Campbell said on Facebook. “Truly the only reason I passed it.
"He taught me the Palace Street stroll at a sophomore sock hop," she added. "Very kind man."
Another commenter described Jordan as “the nicest teacher and coach at Clear Creek” and a “true hero and beloved person.”
Kenn Franklin, 58, of New Caney, about 40 miles northeast of downtown Houston, said Jordan was a supportive friend, who was ready to encourage and always had a smile.
“He was a great guy; he impacted so many kids,” said Franklin, who was good friends with Jordan in high school and remained in contact with him over the years.
“We, from time to time, visited and when we would see each other, it’s like we hadn’t missed a beat,” he said.
Franklin said whether the two saw each other or not, they were always close and shared a camaraderie as John Tyler Lions.
A memorial service for Jordan is scheduled for noon Saturday at Liberty Baptist Church, 2506 N. Broadway Ave. in Tyler.
People who would like to send flowers to the church can have them delivered there starting at 11 a.m. Saturday. Guests will be received after the service at 1505 N. Bois D'Arc Ave. in Tyler.
Editor's Note: This corrects an earlier version that incorrectly stated Jordan was a teammate of Earl Campbell.