When any individuals life is cut short due to an unforeseen event it is tragic, but the situation is magnified when it occurs in the public spotlight in front of your players and the opposing team.
Although I do not follow the Texas League with great awareness and never heard of Tulsa coach Mike Coolbaugh, my best wishes go out to his family during this unfortunate grieving process.
July 23, 2007
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Tulsa Drillers coach Mike Coolbaugh died Sunday night after being struck in the head by a line drive as he stood in the first-base coach's box during a Texas League game with the Arkansas Travelers, police said.
The game was suspended in the ninth inning after Coolbaugh was struck by a hard-hit foul ball off the bat of Tino Sanchez and taken to Baptist Medical Center-North Little Rock.
Phil Elson, spokesman for the Travelers, said Coolbaugh was struck by the ball on the right side of his head, or on the forehead -- "I'm getting conflicting reports," he said -- and fell to the ground immediately.
According to a report posted on the Drillers' Web site late Sunday, Coolbaugh was knocked unconscious and CPR was administered to him on the field.
Sgt. Terry Kuykendall, spokesman for North Little Rock police, said Coolbaugh was still alive when he was put in an ambulance for the trip to the hospital, but stopped breathing as the ambulance arrived at the facility.
"They tried to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead at 9:47 p.m.," Kuykendall said.