Even after his own sons were grown, Patrick Brian Noll continued to coach young athletes in Paulding County. It was his way of giving back, and he donated countless hours to youth football and wrestling, his favorite sport, according to a fellow coach.
When there wasn’t a youth wrestling program in Paulding County, Noll helped start one, Brent Huff told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“He wanted a place for kids to be able to play,” Huff said. “Pat was one of those guys that everybody loved. He knew how important youth sports were for kids.”
But it was while enjoying another hobby that Noll lost his life. Noll, 46, of Dallas died Saturday night following a wreck on a portion of a Tennessee highway known as the “Tail of the Dragon,” according to police.
Noll was northbound on U.S. 129 on a 2005 Kawasaki motorcycle when investigators believe he passed a slower bike, the Blount County Sheriff’s Office said.
“As he began slowing for the next left-hand curve, the rear wheel locked, causing the vehicle to go into a straight line skid,” Marian O’Briant, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said in a press release. “The motorcycle continued to skid until the vehicle laid over on its left side.”
Noll was thrown from the motorcycle and struck a tree before traveling down an embankment, O’Briant said. Noll, who was wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at Blount Memorial Hospital.
Known for its 318 curves in just over 11 miles, the “Dragon” is a popular spot for motorcyclists, O’Briant told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“People come from all over the United States to drive the Dragon,” O’Briant said.
Noll was riding with a friend at the time of the wreck and planned to return home Saturday night. Instead, word of Noll’s death spread quickly among family, friends and the community.
After 20 years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps, Noll retired and was employed with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an inventory specialist, according to his obituary. Noll’s youngest of two sons is a college student, but Noll continued to volunteer with youth sports.
“He thought it was important to be there for the kids,” Huff said.
Tuesday night, many of those kids planned to attend visitation for Noll, who is also survived by his wife, Reiko, parents and four sisters.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the Chapel of Clark Funeral Home, with interment to follow at 1:30 p.m. in the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton. The family received friends Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the funeral home, located in Hiram.