Former Maryland football coach Roy Lester dies at 96 from coronavirus complications

Former Maryland football coach Roy Lester dies at 96 from coronavirus complications

Roy Lester, who sandwiched a disappointing three-year stint as Maryland's football coach between a highly successful career at the high school level, has died. He was 96.

Lester's daughter, Amy Lester Greco, said on a Facebook post that her father died Sunday in Rockville, Maryland, from complications of coronavirus. She had announced on April 25 that he had contracted COVID-19 and was in the hospital.

“How blessed I am to have been his only daughter," she wrote. “I am not a perfect person but everything good about me came from this beautiful man."

Lester made a name for himself in Maryland during a 10-year run at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville during which the Rockets went unbeaten six times and had an 86-10-1 record.

That led to him being hired in 1968 to coach at Maryland, where he inherited a program that won only two of 19 games over the previous two years.

Lester guided the Terrapins to a 3-7 record in his first year and went 2-9 in each of the next two seasons before being fired. He was followed by Jerry Claiborne, who led Maryland to seven bowl games over 10 seasons.

In a Twitter post, current Maryland coach Michael Locksley said of Lester: “He came up the ranks as a high school coach and took over during a tumultuous time. He laid the solid foundation for the Claiborne era."

Lester returned to high school coaching in 1972 and won three state championships over the next 15 years while coaching at Paint Branch and Magruder.

When he retired in 1993, Lester had won 260 games at the high school level, a far contrast from his 7-25 career record at Maryland.

Though it has been decades since Lester coached at Richard Montgomery, those who knew him there remember him vividly.

Jim Riggleman played baseball there as a sophomore and junior when Lester was at the school. Riggleman’s brother, Mickey, was a defensive end for Lester on those powerhouse Rockets teams.

Jim Riggleman grew up to be a major league manager with five teams. Speaking Tuesday from his home in St. Petersburg, Florida, the 67-year-old recalled how friendly Lester was during his time at Richard Montgomery.

“If you played any sport there, he knew who you were and who your family was. Coach Lester taught physical education and really impacted the whole school," Riggleman said. “He loved baseball. We had a lot of good talks about the game. He would sometimes come down to spring training with my brother. It was great to see him there."

Riggleman was among many Richard Montgomery grads who paid homage to Lester long after the coach retired.

“Every year between Dec. 25 and Dec. 31, there was something I guess you’d call the Roy Lester Get-Together," Riggleman said. “One of his ex-players would organize it and we’d all meet at a place up the road in Gaithersburg. We’d sit around and tell stories and he loved it. I guess it’s gone on about 35 years now. And I’m sure we’ll have it this December to remember him."

Lester grew up in Spencer, West Virginia, and attended college at West Virginia University, where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. He graduated in 1949 with a degree in political science.

He began his coaching career in 1950 at Walton High School in West Virginia. After two years there, Lester moved on to Allegany High School in Cumberland, Maryland. He was an assistant coach at Maryland for three years before taking over at Richard Montgomery.

One of the stars of Lester's first teams at Richard Montgomery was Mike Curtis, a bruising fullback who went on to shine at Duke and as linebacker in the NFL. Curtis died last month in Florida.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2020/05/05/coronavirus-roy-lester-former-maryland-football-coach-dies-96/5170580002/

News Related

ORTHER NEWS

Trump’s ‘mission accomplished’ moment is premature and deadly. We have not defeated COVID.

Desperate for crowds and adoration, Trump has put his most fervent supporters at risk of getting a deadly disease. Future historians will be astonished. Read more »

NFLPA president JC Tretter says NFL is putting season, players at risk with its coronavirus approach

NFL Players Association president JC Tretter said Tuesday the NFL is putting the 2020 season at risk with its coronavirus approach, calling on the league to better “prioritize player safety.” “Like many other... Read more »

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he tested positive for the coronavirus

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus’ severity. Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and... Read more »

Venice Film Festival forges ahead amid COVID-19 pandemic with reduced lineup

The show will go on for the Venice Film Festival in September, but with a few modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers said Tuesday that they are pushing forward with plans for... Read more »

Amtrak offers buy-one, get-one promotion on its sleeper trains amid COVID-19 — with a catch

Amtrak wants you to have sweet dreams the next time you travel — so much so that it’s sweetening the deal on its sleeper “roomettes.” The rail service is offering a buy-one-get-one-free discount... Read more »

Florida teen treated with hydroxychloroquine at home before dying of COVID-19, report says

FORT MEYERS, Fla. – The family of a 17-year-old Florida girl who died last month from COVID-19 treated her symptoms at home for nearly a week before taking her to a hospital, a... Read more »

Mookie Betts worried MLB coronavirus testing woes could prevent him from ever playing for Dodgers

During nearly four months away from the game, Mookie Betts said he “stayed away from baseball to keep myself sane.” It’s not hard to understand why. The 2018 American League Most Valuable Player... Read more »

Tom Hanks doesn’t get ‘how common sense has somehow been put into question’ with coronavirus

Read more »

Can Gov. DeSantis force Florida schools to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic? Some school leaders seem doubtful.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As concern about the state order spread online, some school leaders said: Not so fast. As Florida educators puzzle over how to start the new academic year, Gov. Ron... Read more »

Texas surpasses 200,000 coronavirus cases after 4th of July holiday weekend

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas reached 200,000 total COVID-19 cases Monday, just 17 days after crossing the 100,000 threshold, a figure that took the state nearly four months to hit. The grim milestone came... Read more »