Fans construct memorial to late Steelers coach Darryl Drake at Saint Vincent
Eileen Smalley had been parked second in line near Saint Vincent for three-plus hours Sunday morning when a Pittsburgh Steelers training camp staffer informed her practice was canceled.
“None of us believed the guy because it’s a beautiful day,” said Smalley of Stahlstown, who arrives to park on Brouwers Road at 7 a.m. every day during training camp for prime parking. “People waited an hour before leaving. We were all stunned. I knew it had to be something serious, something bad.”
It was both.
The Steelers soon announced wide receivers coach Darryl Drake died Sunday. He was 62.
Fans made a roadside memorial for #Steelers WR coach Darryl Drake near fan parking entrance on Brouwers Road near Saint Vincent College. Said Eileen Smalley of Stahlstown: “This is the road the players drive through, so hopefully this memorial will help them.” pic.twitter.com/fkPWwOswFS
— Kevin Gorman (@KGorman_Trib) August 11, 2019
Hours later, Smalley and other Steelers fans returned to make a roadside memorial for Drake near the entrance to the general fan parking.
Smalley bought a black Steelers flag and black-and-gold balloons. Phil Reott of Greensburg and his 17-year-old son bought a gold hard hat and flowers. Tim Logar and Sarah McCaver made a sign that read: “Rest In Peace to our Coach,” with a photo of Drake. Smalley made a sign that read: “We’ll All Miss You Coach Drake.”
“It’s unbelievable,” Smalley said. “This is the road the players drive by, so hopefully the memorial will help them.”
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .