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Former Maryland Football HC Roy Lester Dies at 96 from Coronavirus

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2020

PISCATAWAY, NJ - NOVEMBER 28:  Maryland Terrapins helmets on the sideline during the game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on November 28, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.  (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)
G Fiume/Getty Images

Roy Lester, who coached at the high school level and spent three years in charge at Maryland, died Sunday at age 96 from complications caused by the coronavirus, his family told the Baltimore Sun's Glenn Graham.

Lester's daughter, Amy Lester Greco, confirmed his death in a Facebook post.

"How blessed I am to have been his only daughter," she wrote. "I am not a perfect person but everything good about me came from this beautiful man. This is a man that 'walked the walk' & when he was talking he was absolutely hilarious!!"

Greco said in a Facebook post April 25 that Lester had contracted the coronavirus.

Lester took charge of the Terrapins in 1969, and the team went 7-25 during his brief spell. Jerry Claiborne replaced Lester in 1972 and guided the program to a stretch of six straight bowl games starting in 1973.

Maryland head coach Mike Locksley credited Lester for helping set the team up for success:

Michael Locksley @CoachLocks

Sad to hear about the passing of underrated Terps Head Coach Roy Lester. He came up the ranks as a high school coach and took over during a tumultuous time. He laid the solid foundation for the Claiborne era. Always a Terp🙏🏽🐢 https://t.co/QukOOsSn3m

While Lester's college coaching career was largely forgettable, he racked up 260 wins as a high school coach, per the AP.

Maryland didn't officially recognize state champions in football until 1974, so none of Richard Montgomery High School's six perfect seasons with Lester at the helm resulted in a state title. Richard Montgomery's 1968 squad was ranked third in the country.

Jon Freda @RMRocketsAD

Very sad to announce the passing of RMs Legendary FB Coach, Roy Lester. 10 yrs as HC. 86-10 record. 6 undef. seasons and a nationally ranked team. The RM stadium 🏟 is named after Coach Lester, he’s an RM Hall of Famer and The Greatest of All Time! #RocketPride #RMFBGoat 🚀🏈🖤💛

Following his departure from the Terrapins, Lester coached 15 more years across stints at Paint Branch and Magruder High Schools. His teams were crowned state champions on three occasions over that time.

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