Peter Hoff pulls the letterman's jacket from his closet. His years on the water polo team at Roosevelt High are among the most important in his life, thanks to his patient and tolerant coach Justin Ferrari.
“He was great model and he inspired me to want to be a role model like him,” said Hoff.
Hoff is still in disbelief over his beloved coach's death, killed by a stray bullet intended for someone else in another random Seattle shooting.
As the reality of the killing sinks in for Hoff, he recalls that while water polo was the Ferrari's passion, family was his true love. One of the lessons he taught his players was that of priorities.
“That was the reason he ended up leaving coaching at Roosevelt was he had a kid on the way and he wanted to be as dedicated to that as he was to the water polo team,” said Hoff. “People like Justin are the anchor that young people in America really need.”
Kristen Klein watched from the bleachers as Ferrari coached her son in at Roosevelt High. She says he had a true gift at helping turn boys into confident young men. Kristen sums him up with the highest praise any parent can give.
“I think Justin Ferrari was the kind of man we all hope our sons become,” she said.
Peter Hoff, himself a water polo coach now, hopes to pass on the lessons and now legacy his mentor leaves behind.
“I think there definitely are enough kids out there that don't have a role model like he was to me,” said Hoff.