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Olathe West names baseball field after beloved coach who died from coronavirus

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OLATHE, Kan. (WDAF) — The Olathe West community wants to make sure coach Derek Leppert isn’t forgotten.

The assistant baseball coach and front office staff member died Sept. 10 from COVID-19 complications. He was receiving care for the virus in a rehabilitation hospital.

One week later, the high school announced it has renamed its baseball field as the Derek Leppert Memorial Field.

The baseball team tweeted that the Kansas Baseball Coaches Association will also now present the Derek Leppert Assistant Coach of the Year Award every year in his honor.

The news came as family, friends and players gathered for Leppert’s memorial service Thursday.

Head baseball coach Rick Sabath remembered him fondly, calling Leppert selfless when speaking with WDAF-TV last week.

“Devastating,” he said. “When you lose a good friend unexpectedly, it’s difficult on everyone, family and friends.”

Prior to coaching at Olathe West, Leppert also coached at Blue Valley Southwest. In the summer, he coached with the Royals scout team. The Royals held a moment of silence for him at their Sept. 12 game.

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