When former Tecumseh (Ohio) football coach Kent Massie passed away, the Ohio high school football community was shocked. Sure, the coach who led the Arrows to the state playoffs in 2014 resigned a year after that citing health reasons, but he wasn’t known to have cancer or another life threatening disease, and he was still in visibly good shape.
As it turns out, that outward appearance only papered over a larger addiction which apparently has now claimed his life: a new toxicology report has found that Massie died from an accidental overdose of the powerful opiate fentanyl.
As reported by the Springfield News-Sun, Massie was just 48 when he died in June, some six days after he collapsed inside his own house. Medical examiners discovered fentanyl in his bloodstream and determined that the cause of his death was a heart attack brought on by cyclopropylfentanyl intoxication.
Opiate addiction has become so prevalent across America that it’s reached a point where no victim can represent a demographic for which the addiction is truly surprising. Still, Massie’s profile defied a number of stereotypes. He was middle-aged, had led a highly successful coaching career and had been notably healthy.
Yet like much of America, Massie hailed from a region where opiate addiction and deaths are rapidly on the rise. According to Ohio Fox affiliates WRGT and WKEF, Clark County has already suffered 79 overdose deaths in 2017, just five short of the total overdose deaths from all of 2016.
There is hope that Massie’s death can help raise even greater awareness across the county, particularly around Tecumseh. The helmet stickers the team wears in his honor can’t help bring Massie back, but perhaps they can remind people not to let his cautionary tale slip out of mind.