I thought they handled his death very well.
One of the funniest lines of the entire series is when Nicholas Colasanto had already left the show but the character of Coach was still on the show.
Coach had went to Vermont to take his driver's test because he heard it was easier than Massachusetts. Sam is on the phone with him.
Sam: Congratulations Coach. All that hard work and cramming and burning the midnight oil.
Carla: Did he pass his driver's license?
Sam: No he found Vermont.