Eric Driskell, the head football and track and field coach at Blue Valley High School, died Wednesday, three days after suffering a brain aneurysm during a meeting of the Kansas City Football Coaches Association.
He was 43 years old. He is survived by his wife, Kari, and two daughters, Rachel and Laurel.
Driskell guided the Tiger football team to state championships in 2010 (his first year as head coach) and 2013, and was the state runner-up last Fall. He was named the Kansas High School Coach of the Year by the Kansas City Chief. He was a player on the school's first state championship team in 1991.
But the outpouring of love from the Blue Valley community for the coach far outshines his accomplishments on the field.
In a story published Wednesday in the Kansas City Star, senior running back Will Evans called Driskell "a father figure to all of us. He doesn't just tell you to go on the right path; he shows you the right path. And whatever way you go, he's right there with you."
Friends, students and others have been posting their sentiments and prayers for the beloved coach on Twitter since Sunday, using the hashtags #BVStrong, #EricDriskell, and #BVFamily.
Driskell suffered irreversible neurological damage after being struck by a brain aneurysm during Sunday's meeting in Kansas City. He also suffered cardiac arrest and was given CPR on the scene.
Doctors at the Research Medical Center determined on Sunday that the damage was irreversible. He was kept on life support until Wednesday afternoon because he was an organ donor.
Described as a coach who treated all students equally, whether they were the star football player or timid freshman walking the school's hallways, Driskell was described as an optimistic, caring and upbeat person. In the same Kansas City Star story, senior Grant Lahr called him "the best man I ever knew. It would be impossible not to love him."
A page has been established on GoFundMe to help with Driskell's medical expenses. As of Thursday morning, the page shows that just over $36,000 has been raised toward the goal of $100,000.
Kansas MileSplit extends its sincere condolences to the family, friends and community that Eric Driskell touched in such a positive manner.