KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs announced on Thursday night that it is renaming the Kansas High School Coach of the Year Award in honor of Blue Valley Coach Eric Driskell, the beloved football coach who passed away in February.
“Earlier this year, the Kansas City community lost an outstanding football coach and a great man,” Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt stated in a news release.
“While Coach Driskell may be recognized for what he did on the field, his character, leadership and unwavering dedication to his family and his community left a legacy that continues today. My family and the entire Chiefs organization are honored to commemorate his life and celebrate his service with the Chiefs Eric Driskell Kansas High School Coach of the Year Award.”
Driskell was removed from life support after he suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm.
His 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 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.
Driskell is survived by his wife Kari, and two daughters, Rachel and Laurel.
“We are honored that the Kansas City Chiefs want to play such an incredible role in keeping Eric’s legacy alive in the coaching community,” Kari Driskell said, on behalf of the entire Driskell family in the release. “This is something our children can share with their children and grandchildren; that their dad was such an influential coach that the Chiefs renamed an award in his honor, and that their daddy was indeed, a big deal.”