Daryl Cronk, 46, was more than just a talented musician. He was also a former professional baseball player and head baseball coach at Avila University.
“He could play the mandolin. He can play the guitar. He plays the bass, plays a little bit of everything,” said Preston Pruett, Cronk’s nephew. “He could talk to anybody and make anybody laugh.”
Shortly after Thanksgiving, Cronk became ill with COVID-19. He died less than a month later.
“It was always kind of the idea of, ‘Well if anybody can fight this, it’s definitely coach Cronk,'” said Matt Carpenter, an assistant coach, and friend.
Cronk’s death has many trying to understand how someone young and healthy could die from COVID-19.
“We just don’t know how it’s going to affect anybody,” said Chris Walker, an assistant coach, and friend.
“He was a very healthy guy. He worked out every single day,” Pruett said.
Cronk spent 11 years at Avila University. He was also the school’s assistant athletic director and led Eagles to more than 250 victories.
“The real legacy of the man is doing for others, and I think we have a responsibility as 45 guys now go out and try to impact others the way that he would have,” Carpenter said.
Cronk grew up in Belton and has three children. His family said he was not vaccinated.
Friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help the family pay for hospital bills.