Kennedy: McCallie School's John 'Yo' Strang, WWII POW, inspired generations

Contributed photo from McCallie School / John "Yo" Strang, shown here with McCallie School students, was a beloved Bible teacher and tennis coach at the school. Strang, who died in 2003, is the subject of a new podcast, "Yo: The Long Road Home."

John "Yo" Strang's funeral in 2003 was said to have been the largest ever held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in downtown Chattanooga.

This was odd because those who knew him best said the late Bible teacher and tennis coach at McCallie School had few close friends.

But what Strang did have were legions of admirers. For more than 50 years he lavished young men with encouragement and prodded them with corny jokes at the school on the western slope of Missionary Ridge.

"Yo!" they would call out to him.

"Hey, Bud," he would answer, often handing them a piece of candy in a transaction that became his trademark.

Strang is the subject of a new podcast, "Yo: The Long Road Home," which is available through Apple and Spotify.