Football coach and teacher of the year dies at 38

Eric Harris with his wife, Kari, their three young children and Big Bird.
Eric Harris, who played football at Chatsworth and became a coach at St. Genevieve and Golden Valley, died Friday at age 38. He is survived by wife Kari and three children.

Eric Harris, who was an All-City linebacker on Chatsworth’s 1998 City Section Invitational championship team and later became a successful football coach and teacher of the year at Golden Valley, died Friday. He was 38.

According a GoFundMe account, he became ill Feb. 29 from a rare form of toxic shock syndrome that began to shut down his organs. He had been hospitalized for two weeks.

He was an assistant coach who also taught history at Golden Valley, where he was named teacher of the year.

Head coach Dan Kelley was feeling devastated by the news.


“I knew him for seven years and feel like I knew him a lifetime,” he said.

Harris played with quarterback Matt Cassel at Chatsworth and later went into coaching. He took over a struggling St. Genevieve program in 2007 and quickly turned things around on and off the field.

He later stepped down as head coach to focus on his family. He and his wife, Kari, have three kids.

Funeral arrangements are pending.