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OLATHE, Kan. — An Olathe West staff member and baseball coach has died of COVID-19 complications, the school’s principal announced Thursday.

Derek Leppert was the assistant baseball coach for the boy’s varsity team.

“I am writing to let you know about some very sad news. Today, Derek Leppert, a valued member of our Olathe West staff passed away suddenly in a rehabilitation hospital. Lepp had recently suffered some side effects from COVID-19, which he contracted a few weeks ago. He was on the mend when he passed away,” Principal Jay Novacek said on Twitter.

“Immediately, I want to ease your minds and your worry and share with you that Coach Lepp had not been in Olathe West since we left school last March.”

“As you know, Coach Lepp was a larger than life figure in our community. Whether it was coaching his life passion of baseball, giving students trouble for being late in the attendance office, arguing with moms for calling students out for lunch, or working basketball games at the pass gate, Lepp’s personality and booming East Coast voice will be sorely missed at Olathe West,” Novacek wrote.

Olathe West Baseball also tweeted out a tribute.

“Big fella I love ya. We love ya. Thanks for coming into my life, our life and leaving your mark on this earth. RIP.”