OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -- An Olathe football coach has died following a battle with COVID-19.

Chris Burnett, 34, managed the running backs and was the assistant JV coach at Olathe East. 

His parents, Kim and Carolyn, told KCTV5 football was his passion. Burnett seemed to have a way of connecting with his players. 

They called him by his nickname, Cheese.

"He met them on their level. He didn't yell at them," his father, Kim, said. "Just met them on their level."

"I think that's why they loved him so much," his mother, Carolyn, said. "He could be goofy with them and and playing around with them and they'd do what he wanted them to do."

The Burnetts told KCTV5 that their son had first become sick with COVID-19 in late August. They said Burnett had been putting off getting a vaccine, despite their attempts to persuade him.

"He had diabetes," Kim said. "It hit so fast. Within three days he was very sick."

Burnett also volunteered for the Kansas City Glory, a women's football team. The Glory started a GoFundMe page that has raised more than $1,000 for Burnett's family in just a few days. 

Tim Kestermont, the team's general manager, said Burnett seemed to give everything to his players. 

"He was always giving," he said. "It didn't matter what the task was. He did it with a smile."

At Olathe East, students and faculty wore red shirts to school to show their support for Burnett. 

The JV football team decided to move forward with their game Monday night. Players held a moment of silence before kickoff. Nick Ash, the head JV coach, said it was important to coaches and players to compete in Burnett's honor.

"It's probably going to hit me tonight," Ash said. 

The Olathe School District said it would organize a show of support for Burnett at Friday night's game at Shawnee Mission Northwest. 

KCTV5.com is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, StormTrack5 weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from KCTV5 News. 

>> Click/tap here to download our free mobile app. <<


Copyright 2021 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

Locations

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.