Coach killed in apartment fire honored at Elyria football game

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ELYRIA, Ohio (WJW)– The Elyria High School community honored a well-liked coach who was killed in an apartment fire this week.

De’Van Bogard, 27, was the assistant linebackers coach for the Pioneers and was a former Ohio State football player. He died tragically in a fire early Tuesday morning at the Colonnade Apartments on Washington Avenue.

Instead of postponing Friday night’s football game, the team played on with his picture near the door leading them onto the field and his initials on their helmets.

“This is so important for the team, especially. They want to pour their hearts into this and get this win for Coach Bogard,” said Rachel Boddy with the booster club. “We’ve had other schools do moments of silence at their games in his memory, different schools bring gifts for the players.”

(FOX 8 photo)

The tributes were touching for Bogard’s friends, as well as the mother of his 5-year-old son.

“When we had Jaden together, it was life changing for him. And actually his final words six hours prior to the tragedy, how much he just loved everybody and loved the Elyria team,” Taylor Osbey said.

“We just appreciate everybody for all the love and support, and for our son Jaden. It’s the amount of love has been, it just brings joy to my heart. So I just thank you.”

Elyria got the win for Coach Bogard. They beat Amherst Steele, 36-13.

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