Apache Paschall, one of the country’s most well-known and successful girls basketball coaches, died Tuesday. He was 36.
"It’s a tragic loss for Nazareth, especially for our kids," school principal Providencia Quiles said. "We’re all suffering right now."
Paschall, the coach of defending New York State Federation Class AA champion Nazareth, was diagnosed with a form of skin cancer in October and had been undergoing radiation treatments on his neck and jaw area, where he had a lump, five days a week.
He remained as head coach of Nazareth, on the bench at every game despite losing more than 50 pounds.
"He’s been slowing down a bit, but still pushing to come when he could," Nazareth athletic director Rochelle Murphy said.
Paschall’s radiation treatments were set to end after this week, but he took a turn for the worse Tuesday. Murphy said he was rushed to New York Infirmary-Beekman Downtown Hospital from his Lower East Side home around 1 p.m. and died of cardiac arrest. Paschall, she said, was at the school Monday for practice.
Paschall was also diagnosed last winter with congestive heart failure.
Nazareth is ranked No. 2 in the country by ESPN and No. 6 by USA Today.