Clarksburg Mourns Devastating Loss of 52-Year-Old Assistant Football Coach From Fatal Crash in Campus

Published 02/21/2024, 8:21 AM EST

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Tragedy struck Liberty High School in Clarksburg, West Virginia, when beloved teacher and coach Ryan Lantz, 52, was fatally hit by a student’s car in the school parking lot on Tuesday morning. The accident, labeled as “unintentional” and “heartbreaking,” occurred when the student driving the car, was reportedly obstructed by sunlight.

Eyewitnesses said Lantz himself could not spot the car. The incident left the school community devastated as they mourned the loss of a respected figure who played a vital role in their lives.

Football coach run over by student in an unfortunate crash


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Coach Lantz’s death deeply affected the Liberty High School community. He had a significant impact as a teacher, and football and basketball coach, leaving a lasting mark. The school’s despair was evident as they canceled all extracurricular activities to honor his memory. The Harrison County Board of Education also postponed their meetings, recognizing the importance of grieving this loss together.

The accident left him in critical condition, and they transferred him to a hospital. They took him to the Ruby Memorial Hospital, where he took his final breath. Sheriff Matheny described the incident as a heartbreaking accident, expressing the shared sorrow throughout the school community.


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Apart from his work as a teacher and coach, Lantz was a guide and inspiration, impacting countless students and athletes. His legacy, as described in his obituary, showcased a man whose compassion and genuine concern made a profound difference in the lives of those he touched.

Such was his impact and respect in the community that the school released a heartfelt statement for him. It read, ‘The Harrison County Board of Education is deeply saddened to announce the tragic passing of a respected teacher at Liberty High School, following an accident that occurred early Tuesday morning in the school’s parking lot.”

The statement continued, “The loss of the beloved teacher is a profound tragedy for our school community. Our thoughts are with the families involved during this difficult time.”

A great soul gone too soon

Amidst the unpredictability of life, Lantz served as a pillar of optimism and resilience. His ability to forge genuine connections with students, providing them with words of support and listening ears, made him special.


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His teaching career spanned across 30 years, during which he donned many hats. He was the basketball coach of the freshman team in a school and then transferred to football. Before teaching, he spent a decade working as a pastor. The journey, however, started as a legal assistant in 1998 for Child Support, and he even worked as a system analyst.

A jack of all trades, his most valuable personality trait was the ability to forge relationships.

Although his physical presence is no more, his legacy lives on in the countless lives he enriched with compassion and empathy. The love and service that defined Lantz’s life will forever serve as a reminder of the transformative power of kindness and a lasting monument to his extraordinary spirit.


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Written by:

Allen James


One take at a time

Allen James is a writer at EssentiallySports who covers Cycling, MotoGP, Combat sports, and other trending moments in the sports realm. With a degree in mass communication, Allen is putting his learnings to the best use in covering a wide array of viral topics. He loves diving into the conversations surrounding his work, soaking up the various perspectives out there, and then using them as inspiration in his craft. It’s this very curiosity that turns him into a bonafide sports nerd!
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Edited by:

Jacob Gijy