LUBBOCK, Texas– A fallen astronaut from Lubbock will now have a magnet school named after him.

The Lubbock ISD Board of Trustees on Thursday approved the official naming of a Lubbock magnet school to Commander William C. McCool Academy.

“What a great opportunity to honor a hero,” said Zach Brady, president of the Lubbock ISD School Board.

McCool, or “Willie”, graduated from Coronado High School in 1979. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy and later became a NASA astronaut in the 1990s.

“For Lubbock to name a school after Willie, especially one that focuses on science, is what Willie would just have loved,” said Barry McCool, Willie’s father.

Several weeks ago, the board voted to close Smylie Wilson Middle School and turn it into a STEAM (‘A’ is for arts) magnet school for the 2020-2021 school year.

“I hope that he would tell us to continue the work and stay the course,” said Brady.

The principal for the academy was also announced as Carolyn Wadley on Thursday.