STILWELL, Kan. – Eric Driskell, a revered teacher, coach and role model at Blue Valley High School, has passed away at the age of 43. Driskell was removed from life support Wednesday after suffering a ruptured brain aneurysm Sunday afternoon.
Driskell’s family made the decision to take him off life support after doctors at Research Medical Center determined that Driskell had suffered cardio pulmonary arrest and had experienced irreversible neurological damage. Driskell's organs were donated.
Driskell’s lasting impact on his community could be seen as news broke on Sunday that he had collapsed at a meeting with fellow coaches. Thoughts, prayers, and words of respect quickly came flooding in on social media from friends and admirers. Blue Valley students put together memorials and shared stories with the news media of the immense love and respect they had for the man who led their school to two state titles and leaves behind an enduring legacy.
Tuesday night, Blue Valley football players camped out on the football field, sharing stories and embracing the camaraderie that Driskell himself helped instill.
Driskell guided the Blue Valley football program to five state championship game appearances in his seven seasons as the head coach. His Tigers won state titles in 2010 and 2013. His last two teams lost to Derby in the 2015 and 2016 Kansas 6A finals. His varsity record was 71-18.
Prior to being promoted to head coach of his alma mater, Driskell served as an assistant under Steve Rampy from 1996 to 2009. The Tigers won state championships in 1998, 2003 and 2006. Driskell played on the Tigers' first state championship team in 1991. He played a major role in all six state titles in Blue Valley football history.
Driskell's last team finished 12-1. The only blemish was a 17-14 loss to Derby in the 6A state final. He was honored by the Kansas City Chiefs as the 2016 Kansas Coach of the Year.
He was also a board member of the GKCFCA, the boys track and field coach and the weightlifting coach.
Driskell was born in Shawnee, Kan. He attended Stilwell Elementary and Blue Valley Middle School. He graduated from Blue Valley High School in 1992, and played football at Baker University.
Driskell is survived by his wife Kari, and two daughters, Rachel and Laurel.
A Give Forward account has been set up to help the Driskell family.