Coach Bill Pruitt (Photo: Family, Friends)
BEEBE, Ark. (KTHV) - It's not football season right now, but the Beebe community filled Badgers Stadium Tuesday night praying for a long-time football coach who has been in the hospital for weeks now after a serious farming accident. Coach Bill Pruitt spent nearly 40 years coaching thousands of Beebe students and teaching them in the classroom, too.
"He is still at UAMS but is likely to be moved to a rehab center later this week," said his oldest son, Jason Pruitt.
Family and friends shared updates about Pruitt as they gathered. He's been in the hospital for about three weeks after becoming pinned against a tire while unhooking a wagon from a tractor on his family farm.
"He's continually been improving on a daily basis. He went from not being able to feed himself to eating solid food," Jason Pruitt added, overwhelmed by community support. "The Lord has always blessed my family, but the outpouring of support has been unimaginable. I think this is awesome, I think this will touch his heart."
Beebe Resident Kim Benton said you can't help but want to reach out to a guy like Pruitt.
"When I see him, he always remembers me. He remembers my children, my family," Benton said, and she feels that despite his decades of service and a field house named in his honor, the legacy of this Beebe Badger is far from over. "There is so much more for him to do and so many more people left for him to touch."
His son said he and wife read the Facebook posts on a page dedicated to him, and he laughed and cried; the support clearly resonated with him.
Pruitt did suffer a stroke after being admitted to the hospital, and that's delayed surgery on his hip area. His brother told THV 11 News that they're hoping the upcoming rehab will help with the healing, get him moving again, and he won't have to undergo that procedure.
Just a week before his accident, he was in Moore, Okla. with a chainsaw crew helping tornado victims recover.
Beebe community praying for Coach Pruitt