Arlington area high school boys soccer coach dies after long battle with COVID-19

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After nearly a two-month battle with COVID-19, Arlington Sam Houston boys soccer coach Joey Rodriguez died Sunday evening. He was 43.

Rodriguez had been in the hospital since Aug. 29.

He is survived by his wife Lena and three children.

“My love has entered eternity where he can now be the father to our three babies in heaven. At 5:45 pm tonight, the lord welcomed Joey to his eternal home. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. There will be more words later, but I have very few right now,” said Lena on a Facebook post.

Rodriguez, who was the president of the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches, was rushed to the emergency room on Aug. 29 and put on life support.

Before COVID, Rodriguez had been diagnosed with common variable immunodeficiency, an immune system disorder that causes a person to have low levels of the proteins that help fight infections.

He was vaccinated.

A GoFundMe account was created and updated on Sunday. Almost $32,000 has been raised.

“On October 17th, we are devastated to share that Joey has passed away. Joey was a devoted husband, father, coach and friend to all who know him. His dedication and leadership has truly made him an ambassador and role model to coaches, athletes and the beautiful game. His battle and mental toughness should instill a powerful belief in each and everyone to never give up and never give in. His legacy will live on. We are dedicating this fund to help his family cover any funeral and medical expenses they might incur during this difficult time. Any and all donations will be greatly appreciated. Any and all donations will go directly his wife Lena Rodriguez for the direct benefit of their family during this time,” a post on Go Fund Me said.

During last season, Sam Houston reached the playoffs, extending its streak to 14 straight years.

Under Rodriguez, the Texans had gone to the UIL state tournament in 2015 and 2017. Sam Houston went 20-3-1 before losing in the state semifinals to Katy Cinco Ranch, 2-1, in 2015.

The Texans played in the Class 6A state championship game in 2017, falling to Dallas Jesuit, 2-1 in overtime. They finished 22-4-2 that season.

Rodriguez was named Star-Telegram all-area boys soccer coach of the year.

One of his former players, Jose Ortiz (SMU) was named Star-Telegram player of the year three times and was named Gatorade Texas Player of the Year in 2015.

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