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St. Ignatius coach Chuck Kyle named favorite teacher by Artemis 1 executive

Jim Free, a man critical in NASA's latest mission, says legendary St. Ignatius Coach Chuck Kyle made the biggest difference in his life as a teacher.

CLEVELAND — It's amazing to know how significant of a role Cleveland's NASA Glenn has played in the Artemis 1 mission, overseeing development of the service module that will power and propel the Orion space capsule out of earth's orbit, around the moon and back. 

It's even cooler to learn that one of the mission's top executives was greatly impacted by the father of our own Maureen Kyle.

Jim Free is the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate Associate Administrator with NASA Glenn.

In a conversation about the Artemis 1 mission with our own Betsy Kling, he said legendary St. Ignatius football coach, Chuck Kyle, had the biggest influence on him as a teacher.

"From teaching us Shakespeare, to using Shakespeare quotes to help us get out of trouble with our parents, to his passion for education ... probably the one who impacted me the most," Free said.

Free then recalled a story from a few years ago when he and his son, who also attended St. Ignatius, went to an event and ran into Coach Kyle.

"When my older one was a freshman, we were at a track meet or something, and (Coach Kyle) came walking around the corner and said, 'Jim Free.' And I was like, 'Oh my Gosh, Coach Kyle remembers my name.' How does that happen?" Free said. "Folks like that make such a difference for the long haul, and ironically it had nothing to do with engineering, just how to be passionate about what you do."

After that clip aired this morning, Maureen Kyle was touched by Free's words.

"I was almost in tears. That was so sweet of him to say," Maureen said. 

Watch the clip above this story to see the sweet moment.


Editor's Note: The following video is from a previous story.

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