Skyway jumper identified as Pasco teacher, coach - WFLA News Channel 8

Skyway jumper identified as Pasco teacher, coach

Posted: Updated:
PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

A man who drove his car to the center of the Sunshine Skyway bridge and jumped off has been identified as a Pasco County teacher and former college football coach.     

Deputies say William Schmitz, 59, parked his Kia at the top of the bridge just before 5:00 AM Monday, and jumped off.  His body was recovered four hours later.

According to the Land O'Lakes High School website, Schmitz taught American History, Economics, and Economics Honors. 

Schmitz also coached the boys track team, and served as the football team's offensive coordinator in 2011 and 2012.

According to a press release from the school district, administrators were informed of Schmitz's passing late Monday morning. 

Then "at approximately noon, the football players and track team members were called down to the mini theater and informed," the release reads.  "At approximately 1 p.m., Assistant Principal Richard Batchelor made an announcement to students that he had passed away." 

The crisis intervention team members were on campus Monday afternoon.  Principal Ric Mellin recorded a phone message to go out to families at 6:00 PM.

According to tbo.com, William Schmitz served as head coach of the United States Coast Guard Academy from 1993 to 1996.  He also coached at Austin Peay State University from 1997 to 2002.

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