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Elyria High School honors football coach, De'van Bogard, who died in a fire earlier this week

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Posted at 10:03 AM, Oct 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-16 10:03:08-04

ELYRIA, Ohio — Elyria High School staff, students, teammates and friends and family honored the life of assistant football coach De'van Bogard, who was killed in a fire Tuesday morning, at their Friday night football game.

Bogard, a former Ohio State football player and father of a 5-year-old son, was found dead in his apartment around 2 a.m. Tuesday after a fire started in the building. Elyria Fire said the fire was accidental and non-suspicious. They believe it started near a couch in the living room.

The 27-year-old was a standout football player at Glennville High School and signed with Ohio State in 2012. After Ohio State, Bogard moved back to Northeast Ohio where he became an assistant football coach at Elyria High School.

Elyria City School District issued the following statement after Bogard's death:

Our student-athletes and coaching staff are grieving his loss. The team is very connected. De’van was a valued member of the coaching staff. He held a pivotal role on the team and in the development of the players as students and athletes. The students received this news in a very supported environment today at school. Counselors and grief specialists were on hand for the staff and students and will be available throughout the week at school. As a district we offer our deepest sympathies to De’van’s family and friends.

During Friday night's game, a moment of. silence was held for Bogard just before the playing of the national anthem.

"Coach Bogard would’ve wanted us to play tonight," said Caleb Yoder, a freshman football player. "Elyria loved him, we loved him and all of our fans loved him. Everyone knew him because he was such a great guy."

In addition to the moment of silence, there were prayers, pictures and posters in Bogard's honor.

His father, Maurice Bogard was in attendance. He said it was tough to be there, but he wanted to do it for De'van.

"It gives me goosebumps. I never had an idea that my son had this much of an impact on people," he said.

Maurice spent most of his life watching De'van on the football field.

"I was blessed to have him for 27 years," he said.

After De'van got hurt at Ohio State, Maurice was worried he'd never go back to the sport he loved, and was thrilled when he started coaching.

"It took him awhile to get back into coaching after he got hurt and he couldn’t pursue his dream. For awhile, he couldn’t even watch football," he said. "Once I found out he was coaching again, my heart, I mean, my boy he was back at what he does."

Maurice said De'van found a renewed love for football and for molding young athletes.

"He wanted to pass it down, pass his gift down to the rest of the kids, and that’s what he did. He wanted them, I guess, to feel the passion that he felt."

Yoder said he did just that.

"He said we always have a dream, you just have to go and get it," said Yoder.

RELATED: Elyria High School football team to honor fallen coach during Friday night game

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