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Father of EWU football player dies after game-day collapse

Eastern Washington’s Jake Rodgers is embraced after his father was taken by ambulance to the hospital. (Tyler Tjomsland)
Eastern Washington’s Jake Rodgers is embraced after his father was taken by ambulance to the hospital. (Tyler Tjomsland)

John Rodgers, the father of Eastern Washington University offensive tackle Jake Rodgers, died late Friday after he collapsed in the Roos Field stands in the final minutes of Eastern’s game against Illinois State on Dec. 13.

Bystanders and paramedics rushed to Rodgers aid and performed CPR as the play on the field stopped. Rodgers had been in the intensive care unit at Sacred Heart Medical Center ever since.

The Rodgers family is from Spokane, where Jake Rodgers attended Shadle Park High School.

John Rodgers was an ironworker and graduate of Rogers High School. Besides his son, Jake, he also is survived by a daughter, Kara.

EWU head football coach Beau Baldwin released a statement on Rodgers death. “On behalf of the entire Eastern Washington University family and our football program, our thoughts, hearts and prayers go out to Jake Rodgers and his family during this very tough time,” the statement said. “Jake, his family and the memory of John have become a huge part of the Eagle football family these past two years, and we will reach out to help in any way possible now and in the future. We will be there for them.”

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