E. Illinois assistant dies in accident after loss

Monday, November 30, 2009

The offensive line coach was returning from Saturday's playoff loss to Southern Illinois

EFFINGHAM, Ill. -- Eastern Illinois University assistant football coach Jeff Hoover was killed in a car crash as he returned home from a playoff game against Southern Illinois, officials said Sunday.

Hoover and his family were riding with strength coach Eric Cash and his family late Saturday when their Chevrolet Suburban swerved to miss a deer and rolled over just south of Effingham, according to athletics spokesman Rich Moser.

Two children also in the vehicle have been released from the hospital, while a third child is being held for observation, Moser said. Cash, his wife Sherri and Hoover's wife Penny are in stable condition at Carle Hospital in Champaign, Ill., he said.

Effingham is about 30 miles south of EIU's campus in Charleston, Ill.

Hoover, 41, joined Eastern Illinois in 2007 after serving as the offensive coordinator at Portland State University. He also worked at Henderson State, Utah State, Claremont-McKenna College and his alma mater, UC Davis.

Chris Vaccaro, an EIU offensive lineman, said Hoover always asked for the best from his players.

"Football coaches around the country turn into a second father for most of us players and for some of us our only father figure. Coach Hoover was that person to many of us," Vaccaro said. "He was a great man and a great coach."

The tragedy marks the second death this month for EIU's athletics department. Assistant women's basketball coach Jackie Moore died Nov. 4 after collapsing as she started a workout.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: