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Sport: 'A giant of a coach': Ramapo, New Jersey, football coach Drew Gibbs dies of complications from surgery

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Ramapo head football coach Drew Gibbs died Tuesday morning.

The New Jersey high school informed students and faculty of Gibbs’ death in an email, saying he died due to "complications from an aortic dissection and complications from surgery.”

"The passing of Coach Gibbs is a profound loss for our community and his family," Ramapo/Indian Hills superintendent Rui Dionisio said in a statement. "We will keep the Gibbs family in our thoughts and prayers as we respect their privacy during this difficult time."

Diego Polenta et al. posing for the camera: Ramapo head coach Drew Gibbs holds the trophy after his team defeats Summit in the North Group 3 Bowl Game in November 2018. © Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com Ramapo head coach Drew Gibbs holds the trophy after his team defeats Summit in the North Group 3 Bowl Game in November 2018.

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According to multiple people close to the football program, Gibbs, 59, collapsed at football practice Monday evening and was taken to The Valley Hospital for emergency surgery.

"He was a giant of a coach and a giant of a man," Gov. Phil Murphy said during a briefing at Rutgers University.

The leadership of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association said in a statement: "Today, New Jersey scholastic sports lost a true legend. We are deeply saddened by the passing of Ramapo High School’s Head Football Coach Drew Gibbs. He was an educator, a mentor and a role model, and our condolences go out to all who knew, loved and were inspired by Coach Gibbs.”

Said the Super Football Conference administration in a statement: “The Super Football Conference extends its deepest condolences on the passing of Coach Drew Gibbs of Ramapo High School. He was a true gridiron icon in New Jersey, and it’s probably impossible to overestimate his positive influence as a teacher, leader and mentor."

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Gibbs had been a pillar of the North Jersey football coaching community with a reputation and résumé that is hard to match. He had been the Green Raiders coach since 2001 and led them to seven sectional titles. He had connections nationwide, and among his alumni are former NFL star wide receiver Chris Hogan.

The Green Raiders, currently 10-1, are slated to play Northern Highlands in the North 1, Group 4 final Friday night. The status of that game is in limbo.

Darren Cooper is a high school sports columnist for NorthJersey.com.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @varsityaces

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: 'A giant of a coach': Ramapo, New Jersey, football coach Drew Gibbs dies of complications from surgery

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