TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Not one but two ceremonies Thursday honored the life of a beloved Leto High School football coach.
Patrick Kronk unexpectedly died over the weekend at the age of 27.
While it’s unclear how he died, both services made it very clear how Kronk lived: a life brimming with kindness for all those he knew.
“To the Kronk family, thank you for raising a man who meant so much to all of us,” said Chris Rodriguez, one of Kronk’s players, during the Thursday night service at his childhood church in Land O’ Lakes.
Stories shared painted the picture of a man driven by family, faith, and football. The sanctuary was standing room only, with overflow rooms streaming the service set up elsewhere in the church.
“Anyone who has ever had the privilege of meeting Coach Kronk will tell you he had the biggest smile on his face, always,” said another player at the podium.
Kronk had only been at Leto for two years but testimonials from students and players show his legacy will live on there for much longer than that.
The school bussed the entire football team to the service to let them pay their final respects.
“Coach, I promise I’m going to keep fighting for more,” said Rodriguez. “Not just in football, but also in the classroom.”
Kronk’s brother Chris spoke at the conclusion of the Thursday night service.
“Patrick is gone but his legacy of love can live on in everyone in this room today,” he said.
Leto’s student government also organized a service on campus Thursday morning so the entire student body could say goodbye.
Instead of flowers, the Kronk family asked for donations to the Leto football program to establish a scholarship in his honor.
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