He was a big believer in helping others but could get hard on himself if not shooting in the 60s.
Rick Long, a family pastor at Grace Church in Arvada in Colorado, stated that Zinn had just finished a tournament in Texas with University of the Southwest teammates when he called Greg Zinn to discuss what he considered a disappointing round.
He said, "Jackson, you are amazing. You won't always score the points you need. It'll be great," Long stated.
The college junior, along with his team, piled into a van to return to New Mexico about an hour later. Zinn, his coach, and five of his teammates were killed when a pickup truck smashed into the van on Tuesday evening.
Authorities said Thursday that the truck had veered into their lane following a blowout tire. The fiery crash also claimed the lives of an unnamed 13 year-old driver and his 38-year old passenger, Henrich Siemens from Seminole County in Texas.
Long said that Jackson Zinn was close with his parents and his two younger sisters. He coached special needs children in a soccer league his family started. Long also spoke about Long's love for Zinn at Red Robin, suburban Denver, where he worked as an employee and a waiter after school.
After spending one year at a New Mexico military school, Zinn decided to transfer to the University of the Southwest. He saw it as an opportunity for him to play golf and receive a Christian education.
Zinn enjoyed the scent of the golf course, the feel of the tees, and was happy to play in Long's annual tournament for money to support Indigenous peoples in Peruvian Amazon.
He said, "He said that it's the only place where he could play his games and do it well without feeling the pressure to perform because it was for a larger mission, a greater reason."
The crash killed most of the students who were experiencing life at the private Christian university, where enrollment hovers around 300.
These were freshmen Laci stone of Nocona (Texas), Travis Garcia of Pleasanton (Texas), Mauricio Sanchez from Mexico, Tiago Sousa from Portugal, and Travis Garcia of Nocona (Texas). Authorities and the school did not release the addresses of Sanchez and Sousa.
Junior Karisa Raines from Fort Stockton (Texas) and Tyler James, a Hobbs, New Mexico, golf coach, were also killed.
Authorities identified the two students who were injured as Hayden Underhill of Amherstview (Ontario, Canada) and Dayton Price of Mississauga (Ontario, Canada).
Garcia won Pleasanton High School's Most Valuable Player award last year. This was when Garcia and his team made their first appearance at the Texas State Championships. His colleagues at Pleasanton's golf club remembered him as a remarkable kid who had made incredible strides in a matter of years.
Myles Dumont is the manager of River Bend Golf Club's golf operations. Thursday's remarks were a testimony to Garcia's role in the success of his high school team. He said that Garcia was a hard worker who enjoyed spending time outside and practicing his craft.
Dumont stated that he fell in love with golf and was excited to see what his future would bring. We were proud of him and happy to see him play. He had no limits.
Renata Afonso is the head of Escola secundaria de Loule. He attended the high school on Portugal's southern coast.
She said that he was a dedicated student who was very involved in social causes. "Any school would have been delighted to have him as a pupil."
Sanchez was a member of the Club de Golf Pulgas Pandas before he moved to New Mexico. It is a club located in Aguacalientes, north-central Mexico.
Stone graduated from Nocona High School 2021 where she played softball, volleyball, and golf. Chelsi Stone, her mother, described Stone as a shining ray of sunshine.
The university planned a spring break gathering, and counselors were available to assist students. As separate fundraising efforts were launched by the university and friends to aid the families of the victims, condolences and prayers continued to flood social media.
Around 150 people came out to honor Zinn at Texas Roadhouse on Thursday. This Hobbs restaurant is where Zinn met and worked for five months.
Maddy Russell (20 years old), of Hobbs said, "He was my heart."
Russell's aunt was also present at the memorial. She had written Russell's niece's number on a piece paper for Zinn, when Russell was too shy. He sent her a text that day and quickly became a regular at the family dinner table.
Many people who knew Zinn wore Denver Broncos uniforms. One of their friends was a Cowboys fan.
Kyleen Valdez (31), a waitress, said, "I came from Colorado and I wasn’t a Bronco fan." "He told us that Russell Wilson would be joining the team and that they were going to win again. They will win the Super Bowl. That's why Jackson is so well-known in sports and not just golf.
The mourners released approximately 100 blue and orange balloons into eastern New Mexico's cold whipping wind, and they quickly disappeared into the horizon.