Leto High School football team remembers beloved coach

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – It’s been a sad start to the week at Tampa’s Leto High School after the unexpected death of a beloved teacher and football coach Patrick Kronk who passed away this weekend at the age of 28.

Coach Kronk had only been at Leto for two years, but in that short amount of time, he made a huge impact on his players.

“He was a great teacher a great person you could look up to and as one of his players I’m going to make sure his legacy just keeps going on,” Leto football player Chris Rodriguez said.

Kronk was much more than just a coach to the senior linebacker. The two shared something of a brotherly bond clicking from the first time they took the practice field.

“From that moment on I knew he and I were going to create something throughout the season just from how great of a person he was,” Rodriguez said.

The two seasons they shared were difficult. Last year the Leto Falcons did not win a single game but Rodriguez says Coach Leto was quick to tackle any discouragement head-on with a smile and a hug.

The bad news came to Rodriguez on Sunday in a text, from one of his other coaches. While he’s still coming to grips with what happened he’s determined to tell the world who Coach Kronk was… A man who didn’t just teach sports and social studies but also life lessons like the power of kindness.

Leto High School Principal Larissa Mccoy released a statement following the coach’s passing:

“The entire Leto High School family mourns the passing of Mr. Kronk—an exceptional leader, a team player, the kindest person most of us have ever come to know. He was an awesome advocate for children—a wonderful teacher and coach, whose ability to connect with kids was uncanny.”

Leto High School Principal Larissa McCoy

Coach Kronk will be laid to rest on Thursday and Rodriguez is helping to arrange a bus so that the entire team can be there to support the family.

Instead of flowers, the Kronk family is asking for donations to the football program to help set up a scholarship in his honor on their GoFundme page.

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