"Van Vleck community unites after coach’s death" by: Mike Reddell

   The Van Vleck school community is pulling together in their grief over the death of well-liked Coach Paul Benien.
   The coach collapsed in the Van Vleck High School’s weight room during a routine he and another coach do every game day.
   Van Vleck was to play Boling Friday night, a contest that was cancelled.
   When the coach collapsed, Van Vleck’s crisis team of teachers, principals and other professionals joined in performing CPR until the ambulance arrived, said Superintendent John O’Brien.
   Students were coming from the pep rally to the field house, but were diverted by staff.
   No students were present in the weight room when the coach collapsed or when the crisis team went into action, he said.
   The death of Benien, who was 55, affected everyone, O’Brien said. An autopsy will determine the cause of death, the superintendent added.
    “I couldn’t be prouder of the crisis team who pulled together,” O’Brien said.
   Benien was a special education teacher and defensive coordinator for the Van Vleck Leopard football team, but O’Brien said the coach “transcended all sports. He affected everybody he came in contact with.”
   “We decided that the only way we were going to get through this is together,” O’Brien said.
   There was a vigil Sunday for students and crisis teams from MRMC and Matagorda County Educational Services (MCES) were present Tuesday when the team practiced.

To read more, please log in or subscribe to our digital edition. 

Rate this article: 
No votes yet