Community remembers Page County icon Buddy Comer

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 5:14 PM EDT
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PAGE COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — Last week, 79-year-old Vincent J. “Buddy” Comer passed away, and for a man who has done so much for the community, friends and family say he will never be forgotten.

This week, Comer’s family is going through old memories at his home in the town of Shenandoah. The center of his house is filled with photos and mementos from over Comer’s coaching and teaching career.

“This is like I said what we call the trophy room, the man cave, it’s a little bit of everything,” Mark Comer, Comer’s son, said.

Mark and his dad were the first father and son pair to win state championships in Virginia, photos of that moment, other awards, jerseys, and even pictures of his grandkids are proudly on display.

Mark said other than loving his family, his dad had no greater passion than nurturing future athletes.

At one time, Comer played minor league baseball for the Washington Senators in the 60s. He would later become a coach for Bridgewater College, and even coach a state championship-winning basketball team for Luray High School in 1971.

Fifty years later, Comer would still talk to one of his star players, Bobby Brown, who lives in Luray.

“Coach Comer was already a legend at Page County High School,” Brown said. “When coach Comer came to Luray, we just couldn’t believe it, I mean it was just unspoken but he was a caring coach.”

The two are still the best of friends, even checking in on each other during the pandemic, and sharing memories from the past.

“Have you taken that vaccine shot yet?’ I said, ‘yes I took the first one, but I’m scared to take the second one,’” Brown said. “Coach said, ‘you make sure you do that because this is important.’”

Brown said while Comer did so much for other schools, his heart will always be with Page County High School, where he was even a driver’s ed teacher up until last week.

Thirty years after his first state championship, Comer brought home the 2001 Boys Track state title for the Panthers.

Comer went to Shenandoah High School, the now Shenandoah Elementary School, but his brother was a graduate of the first class at Page County High School. Serving as the president of the Shenandoah High School alumni group for many years, Comer still bleeds blue and white.

“I played for him in the early 80s, and even through 2021, he is still involved with kids at Page County High School and that’s a remarkable career,” Keith Cubbage, athletic director for PCHS, said.

While the game clock may have run out of time, Buddy Comer will always be known as a legend.

“Every one of us who Coach Comer had an impact on, I think it’s important we say thank you,” Cubbage said.

Not just as a coach or teacher, but as a friend.

“Oh, he will always be my coach. I’ll always be one of his players. But the main thing is that he was one of my best friends,” Brown said.

“I know I can speak for the girls because all three of us are proud to be his kids, Buddy’s kids,” Mark said.

A celebration of life for Comer will be held for the public on Saturday, April 17 at the Page County High School football field at 2 p.m.

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