FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Long before Stephen Carr was a devoted Fayetteville police officer, he was an offensive lineman. A couple of his former coaches remembered him for his hard work on the field and strong relationships off it.
“He was such a great young man,” said Mark Schmid, Carr’s former high school coach at Woodlands High School in Texas. “You knew the future was so bright for him because of how he went about his daily business.”
Schmid said he remembers the big, intimidating frame juxtaposed against the person Carr was with his friends.
“He was a big, gentle giant who you didn’t want to go up against because on the football field, he was a monster,” Schmid said. “Then around his friends, he was always so friendly and had a great laugh. It was like a completely different person.”
Carr was a three-year letterman and All-District his senior year, which Schmid said was unusual because the school was so populous. He ultimately got the chance to play at Southwest Baptist University in Missouri where he played for two years and coached for two more.
“He was always there to step up and do [things in the community],” said Robert Clardy, Southwest Baptist’s head coach. “Go to the local schools and read and play with the kids and do whatever he could to give back.”
So, after Carr was shot to death behind the Fayetteville police station Saturday night, Clardy said the Northwest Arkansas community lost one of the good ones.
“He was a special, special person while he was here,” Clardy said. “I know he had that same impact when he got to Fayetteville. He had the same impact on them. It’s just been very, very tragic.”
Schmid remembers the young Carr who dreamed of a day in law enforcement—following in his dad’s footsteps.
“It’s a travesty,” Schmid said. “But yet, he knew [the risk], and he chose to do that. What a hero.”
A statement from Southwest Baptist University can be found here.