MICHIGAN CENTER -- "There will always be a piece missing, and that piece is gonna be Scot."
That just about sums up how the small town of Michigan Center feels about the loss of long-time teacher and high school girls basketball coach Scot Furman.
The 48-year-old died unexpectedly Thursday night of natural causes, according to police. Autopsy results have not yet been released.
And it brought the town where Furman grew up and then raised his own family to a standstill.
Superintendent Scott Koziol ordered every Michigan Center school to shut down Friday, worried students and staff would be too distracted by the loss.
"It was pretty much a no-brainer to go the whole school, just because of how far out Scot reaches," Koziol said.
"In some circles, he is the face of Michigan Center."
Especially in the sports realm.
Furman, who leaves behind a wife and two boys, was a football and basketball star in high school, then became a teacher and coach at the same school in 1999.
He led the girls team to multiple division titles, including two runner-up finishes in the state championship. One local sports reporter puts his record at 350 wins, 110 losses.
Just about everybody in this small town knew Furman, each with a story about him.
"He was the kid who grew up next door to you who was a great athlete that just never, ever got full of himself, was always just a very happy-go-lucky guy," said Chip Mundy, who has covered sports in the area for decades and reported on Furman as both a player and coach.
Jerry Holda is the president of the school board: "He always had time, it seemed, to talk to the kids. There's not a single person I can think of who didn't like Scot."
Classes at Michigan Center likely will resume Tuesday, according to Koziol, with counselors on hand.
Furman's classroom, meanwhile, will remain closed for the final two weeks of class -- with the lights left on.