Beloved young coach at Devine Middle School passes away after collapsing in class

Jacob Sanchez made an everlasting impact on his students and loved ones

SAN ANTONIO – His playful, easygoing personality made him an easy pick to be a student’s favorite coach.

But 35-year-old Jacob Sanchez was also an inspiration, a leader and an innovator that made him so likable to those he worked with at Devine Middle School.

On Thursday, Sanchez collapsed at the start of class and staff members conducted CPR.

The Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office reports he died of a heart attack. On Friday, the Devine community gathered for a vigil before the start of school and school counselors were available to help students cope.

Principal Kandi Darnell was with him just minutes before he collapsed.

“He seemed fine and everything seemed fine,” she said.

Darnell has known Sanchez since he was a student himself and said he really shined as a teacher.

“He was a kid’s teacher, I’ll put it that way. He took time out to connect with the kids,” she said.

Sanchez’s wife Rebecca Powe issued this statement: “My honey was the light of our lives. He kept our family on our toes, constantly going, and always laughing. We shared a beautiful life together He loved us with his whole heart and loved his life. He was dedicated to the community of Devine and the kids were his motivation every day.”

Sanchez’s twin brother David Sanchez thanks the community for their overwhelming support.

“Our brother loved his family, friends and his students especially. He was the kind of man you would strive to be. His door was always open just to lend an ear too. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. We would like to say thank you on behalf of our family for all the love and condolences that have been given. This community has come together at this tough time. We couldn’t be prouder of the impact he has made in our hometown.”

Funeral arrangements are as follows.

  • Visitation will be held on Thursday, January 12 from 5-9 p.m. at Primrose Funeral Services 303 W. College Ave., Devine, Texas.
  • Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, January 13 at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Devine 308 W. Hondo Ave., Devine, Texas. Interment to follow at Longview Cemetery in Bigfoot, Texas.

Those attending are asked to wear sports jerseys and bright colors that represent Sanchez’s favorite team. A collection fund has been set up at Security State Bank in Devine to help support his wife and child.

You can read his full obituary here.

About the Authors

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

Recommended Videos