Orlando McDaniel influenced the lives of many young female athletes in North Texas. He started the North Texas Cheetahs Track Club, making stars of many of his athletes.
Over the weekend, he died from COVID-19.
"I knew he was sick," Jasmine Moore, one of McDaniel's former athletes, said. "I didn't think he was that bad or that he was in the state he was in."
According to Dallas County, McDaniel, 59, did not have any underlying medical conditions.
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Moore, a track and field athlete who is home indefinitely from college, said she wished people would take the COVID-19 threat more seriously.
"Like, especially people my age. I know that some of my friends, they're still hanging out. I'm like, 'Why?'" Moore asked. "They don't understand how it is to lose someone like that.. I just wouldn't want anyone else to go through this."
Moore said the man she called 'Coach Orlando' was always there: at practice, at track meets, even there with shoes when girls needed them.
"He just cared a lot for us," Moore said through tears. "A lot of, like, just people are missing a father figure."