Beloved Hillcrest High coach may have died due to complications from West Nile virus

Coach Cazzie Brown. Photo: GoFundMe

MIDVALE, Utah, Aug. 28, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Hillcrest High football coach Cazzie Brown had tested positive for the West Nile virus in the days before his death, according to an unnamed family source cited by multiple media reports.

According to those accounts, doctors told family members that Brown had the West Nile virus, which may have contributed to his decline.

Brown died Sunday night, just four days after becoming seriously ill and going to the emergency room. His final three days were spent on life support, from which he was ultimately removed.

A candlelight vigil for Brown is planned for 9 p.m. Monday at the football field of Hillcrest High School, 7350 S. 900 E, Midvale.

According to information released last week by the Salt Lake County Health Department, two human cases of the West Nile virus had been reported in the county as of last week. It was not immediately clear if that total included Brown’s case.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the most common way people get infected with West Nile virus is to be bitten by an infected mosquito.

GoFundMe campaign aimed at helping Brown’s family pay for medical and funeral costs was established Sunday, and raised more close to $57,000 in its first day. Brown is survived by his wife and three children, along with extended family.

Jeremy Chatterton, who coached with Brown at Judge and Highland, was one of many to posted a tribute on Facebook.

“A great man has passed away tonight,” Chatterton wrote on Sunday. “I have known Cazzie for over 14 years, 11 of those coaching side by side. I don’t know anyone that has touched more lives or had as big of an impact on so many young people as Coach Brown.

“One if his great sayings was ‘You can ignite many candles without diminishing your own flame.’ Coach Brown you have ignited many candles and your flame will continue to burn for a long time. I love you, and I will miss you.”

Brown died at about 9:20 p.m. Sunday, according to an update on the GoFundMe page.

“He was surrounded by his loved ones and went peacefully,” it said. “Thank you to everyone who has rallied around his family and provided support.”

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