CURWENSVILLE, CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)– Curwensville students and community members were notified Wednesday that head football coach Andy Evanko passed away after a fight with ALS.
“He was like a father figure to me, and I’m sure everyone else who had him as a coach,” former football player Seth Sloppy said. “It felt like losing a family member. I’m sure it felt like that to everyone in Curwensville.”
Evanko coached for the Golden Tide Football Team for over 20 years.
“He always made every individual player feel like they were his favorite and made you want to work,” former football player Eli Jacobs said. “He never lied to you. Just told you you need to work.”
Even after being diagnosed with ALS, he didn’t give up.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the Evanko family,” senior football player Avry Francisco said. “He was a great man and I can’t thank him enough for what he’s taught me and life lessons.”
Players say his legacy will extend way beyond the ones he coached.
“For me and for all the seniors, we’re happy we got to be on his last team, but I know his legacy will live on through every other player and every other coach,” senior football player Hayden Walnock said.
For those wanting to remember Coach Evanko, a book full of letters from former players is for sale at Lisa’s Sew Crafty in Curwensville.
All proceeds from the book will go toward ALS research.
Plans for a funeral and memorial service are not yet set.