An Indiana City Loses a Beloved Football Coach

Paul Loggan

Paul Loggan was an acclaimed high school athletic director in Indiana. His son tells his story.

Today, our Wake-Up Call newsletter is telling the story of Paul Loggan, a devoted husband, father, and high school athletic director, who died after fighting the coronavirus in Indiana.

Paul Loggan had a lot of pride in what he did — both as a father, and the longtime athletic director at North Central High School in Indianapolis. “He was the most kind, caring individual,” his son Michael told us.

“My mom summed it up pretty well the other day,” he added. “We were lucky enough to call him dad 24-hours a day, but he was a father figure to a lot of students and athletes through his time.”

Paul started working at North Central in 1988, and was named athletic director in 2014. Before that, he coached two Super Bowl champions in his tenure as football coach. He “hated losing” on and off the field.

He loved spending his free time with his wife, daughter, and two sons, enjoyed a fun game of golf, and lounging on the lake. “He was big on, ‘Let’s just take the boat out, anchor down,’” Michael said. “And he might take a little nap in the sun and just relax.”

His battle against Covid-19 was a slow burn. Although school closed in early March, Paul attended one last high school football clinic around March 14, before hunkering down at home.

Around March 27th, he developed a fever. The next day it disappeared. After a series of generally mild, on and off symptoms, he decided to self-quarantine, because his family was pretty sure he had coronavirus. “He was a very healthy man,” Michael told us. “The one big risk he had was with his job. He was consistently with large amounts of people all the time.”

But on the night of April 1st, Paul woke up, his lips slightly blue, breathing as if he had just run “a marathon.” He was rushed to the hospital, where he was put on a ventilator and tested positive for Covid-19.

Paul turned 57 on April 5th, in the ICU. None of his other family members developed Covid-19 symptoms. They couldn’t visit him, but luckily, they were friends with an E.R. doctor — who was able to check in.

Paul took a turn for the worst and died on April 12th, Easter Sunday. “I mean it’s shocking,” his son Michael said. “It’s just like a gut punch and you really don’t know how to take it. It was just a snap of the fingers and it happened.”

The night after Paul passed, Indiana University, and high schools across the state, lit up their football stadiums in his honor.

“Everyone I know complains about going to work every now and then,” Michael said. “That’s the one thing he never did. He loved being with those students, the administration, the teachers. It was overwhelming to see how much he cared.”

Our hearts are with Michael and the rest of Paul’s loved ones at this time.

Reporting by staff writer Amanda Svachula

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