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Olathe East High School football coach dies of COVID-19

Chris Burnett, an Olathe East High School football coach has died following a battle with...
Chris Burnett, an Olathe East High School football coach has died following a battle with COVID-19.(Chris Burnett Facebook photo)
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 9:40 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A high school football team in the Kansas City area will take the field Friday night without one of its assistant coaches on the sidelines. Chris Burnett died Saturday, Sept. 11, at the age of 34. Burnett was on the Olathe East High School football coaching staff while studying to become a teacher.

Burnett’s parents say their son’s death is an important reminder as to why they believe you should be vaccinated against COVID-19. They say Burnett was unvaccinated and was still trying to decide whether to get the vaccine. He tested positive for the virus, then spent two weeks in the hospital before his death.

Burnett’s parents say he was passionate about helping kids and hoped to change lives by becoming a P.E. teacher. Burnett leaves behind three children. Olathe East had counselors at the school to help students process the coach’s death.

Kansas City station KCTV 5 spoke with Burnett’s parents about his connection with the players he coached. 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, added. “He could be goofy with them and and playing around with them and they’d do what he wanted them to do.”

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