Hynus started the football program at Holly Springs High School when the school opened, but resigned as the coach after the 2009 season – the best in school history.
In 2009, Hynus helped the Golden Hawks to a 7-5 record, including a 6-2 mark in the Tri-9 Conference. Holly Springs finished in a three-way tie for second place that season after beating rival Fuquay-Varina.
"He did an outstanding job at building the foundation for football here," Holly Springs athletic director Andy Wheeler said. "He was a tireless worker, just put in a lot of time and effort into the football program."
On Monday, students at staff wore green to school in support of Hynus who was a graduate of Marshall University. He was a native of West Virginia.
"It was pretty amazing to see how many students were in support of him, even a lot of the staff wore green," said Wheeler. "He was an outstanding coach, an excellent teacher, but he was your best friend too and I think even the students would say that."
Hynus moved to North Carolina from West Virginia. He became a football coach at Purnell Swett High School in Pembroke. In 1996, Hynus became an assistant coach under Bob Wolfe at Apex where he stayed for 10 seasons. He was also the head junior varsity coach at Apex.
"He was probably the best offensive line coach I've been around," Wolfe said. "He had that gift of being able to stay on [the kids] all the time, but he earned their respect because they knew he really cared about them."
Players at Holly Springs had similar experiences with Hynus.
"He was hard at time, but still kept things light," Holly Springs senior Mike Kessler said. Kessler played under Hynus for two seasons.
"He was big on character, discipline and being a team... He is the best coach I've had in any sport since I was little," said Kessler. "Words can't describe the way he touched a countless number of lives."
When Hynus moved to Apex High School, he had two young children that Wolfe got to know well.
"It's a huge loss because he's family to us. Cassie and Zac (Hynus' children) grew up here, we watched them grown up," said Wolfe.
Wolfe said Hynus was the type of person who would do anything he could to help someone else.
"He's a big, rough and gruff guy, but deep down he would do anything in the world for you to help you. He was just that kind of guy," said Wolfe.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Hynus is survived by his wife Anita, daughter Cassie, and son Zac. Cassie graduated from Holly Springs last year, while Zac is a junior football player at the school this season.
"The greatest compliment that you can give someone like Jim is that you would hope your kid would play for them. I'd be honored for my kid to play for Coach Hynus," Wheeler said.
Holly Springs will play at home against Fuquay-Varina on Friday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Fans are asked to wear pink to the game. Green ribbons will be handed out in honor of Hynus.
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