The trial for former Pleasure Ridge Park High School football coach Jason Stinson begins next week. Stinson is charged with reckless homicide and wanton endangerment in the death of 15-year-old Max Gilpin, who collapsed from heat stroke during practice last August. Gilpin’s death prompted some changes in high school sports.
All coaches in Kentucky had to go through new heat training before the season started. Players are allowed water breaks at all times and negative motivational techniques are strongly discouraged. At Seneca High School, there have been a few other changes.
There’s also a new member of the coaching staff: trainer Sara Fracasso. Fracasso’s job is to help players with injuries and make sure no one suffers the kind of heat stroke Max Gilpin did.
“I think it was a horrible situation and I think it could’ve been easily prevented if there was an athletic trainer there and available who was specifically there just to look out for the signs and symptoms of heat illness and be there, ready to take care of things.”
Trainers aren’t yet mandatory, but Fracasso predicts the Stinson trial will lead to new requirements. As far as records indicate, Stinson is the first high school coach to be criminally charged in a player’s death.