Robert Mulgrew, 59, was a basketball coach and head of the English department at the Bishop's School in La Jolla, the same place where hundreds gathered Saturday to celebrate his life and legacy.
“It’s incredible to see the impact he made,” Mulgrew’s brother Scott Mulgrew said. “I know my brother made every person better.”
Mulgrew dedicated more than 35 years of his life to students at schools in New York, North Carolina, Florida and for the last 13 years at The Bishop's School.
His profound impact on students was evident at his memorial service, which overflowed with former and current students in the same gym where Mulgrew coached girls’ basketball.
Former colleagues, friends and family remembered his love of books and sports like basketball and golf and the jar in his classroom that was always full of candy.
“He was a big brother to so many students, he was a friend to so many students, he was a mentor to so many faculty,” his brother said.
His niece Allison Klein remembered Mulgrew as a father figure.
“He was with us from day one. He drove me to school, he was at all of my shows, he always made the effort to make tons of trips back east to be with us,” she said.
It was during a family trip to Lake George, New York on August second that Mulgrew died in a swimming accident.
But his legacy will not soon be forgotten.
“He wanted every single one of [his students] to be the best at whatever they wanted to be. And he was willing to go along on the journey,” former colleague Brian Boyd said.