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OLNEY, Md. (WUSA 9) -- For the last decade, Bob Boyd has coached for the Olney Boys and Girls Club Cougars softball team. He died on Wednesday, losing a two-year battle with esophageal cancer.

Boyd, known fondly by his players as coach Bob, will be remembered for his perseverance and heart.

At the end of May, the Cougars honored their coach with an award that recognized his exemplary coaching and guidance. After receiving the award, Boyd told WUSA 9 what coaching softball meant to him.

He said: "This has been a big part of my life over the last ten years, and this is where I think I belong, and it's like being with my family. And I want to be with that family."

After his diagn

osis in late 2012, Boyd found strength on the softball diamond with his team. He continued to coach through all his surgeries and chemotherapy.

Pitcher Maggie Dejter, who also played on Sherwood's state championship-winning softball team and will play for Towson next year, credits Boyd with her love for for the sport.

"I love the game now, I love every aspect of it," said Dejter. "I can't thank him enough for that, he helped me find that joy in life."

Boyd was on the sidelines coaching as recently as last Sunday, when he led his Cougars to victory in a seven-game tournament.

Boyd is survived by his wife Nancy and their four children. His family requested that donations be made to the Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association (ECAA), 1-800-601-0613, or The Olney Boys and Girls Club (OBGC) -- OBGC, P.O. Box 2, Olney, MD 20830 -- in honor of Bob Boyd.

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