Son of Cordova residents dies after COVID-19 infection

Derek Leppert. Photo courtesy of Olathe West High School

Forty-year-old Derek Leppert, the son of Cordova residents Sharin and Pastor Steve Leppert, died Thursday, Sept. 10 after contracting the novel coronavirus. Derek Leppert died suddenly while in hospital, weeks after being diagnosed with the virus, said officials at the school where he worked.

Derek Leppert was an assistant baseball coach for the boys’ varsity team at Olathe West High School in Olathe, Kan. He previously coached baseball for Friends University and MidAmerica Nazarene University, and was named the American Baseball Coaches Association Assistant High School Coach of the Year for 2019.

“As you know, Coach Lepp was a larger than life figure in our community,” wrote Olathe West High School Principal Jay Novacek on Twitter. “Whether it was coaching his life passion of baseball, giving students trouble for being late in the attendance office, arguing with moms for calling students out for lunch, or working basketball games at the pass gate — Lepp’s personality and booming east coast voice will be sorely missed at Olathe West.”

Derek Leppert had not been inside Olathe West High School since classes adjourned in March, Novacek said.

The Kansas City Royals baseball team honored Derek Leppert with a moment of silence ahead of their Saturday, Sept. 11 match against the Pittsburgh Pirates. A GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign in support of Derek Leppert’s family has raised $18,340 since Sept. 3. Steve Leppert thanked the community for their support.