A suburban Kansas City football field was the site of a touching tribute on Tuesday night, with members of a Kansas football team sleeping out in the cold to honor their coach who recently suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. In a tragic twist, the coach in question died the very next day.
As reported by Kansas City Fox affiliate WDAF, 43-year-old Blue Valley football coach Eric Driskell suffered cardio pulmonary arrest that led to irreversible brain damage after the coach’s aforementioned ruptured aneurysm at a Sunday meeting of the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association. After two days of the Driskell family hoping for a miracle, his wife Kari made arrangements for organ donation.
Meanwhile, members of Driskell’s team came together to memorialize the late coach any way they could. For one group of Blue Valley teammates, that meant sleeping overnight on the football field’s 50-yard line, praying for a miracle for their coach. At least eight players spent the night on the field in their sleeping bags, huddling together around candles.
The next afternoon Driskell was pronounced dead, and the players’ presence was replaced by memorial presents of flowers and football mementos.
A memorial service for Driskell will be held Saturday, though the tributes to and memories of Driskell have flooded into the public domain since he died. The two-time state champion was revered as the consummate classy winner, capturing the pair of state titles among five trips to the title game in his seven seasons at the school. Meanwhile, the two families he left behind — his wife and two daughters and the Blue Valley football community — are both bonding together to remember his legacy.