Truckee Meadows Community College assistant soccer coach Gonzalo Lopez passed away Friday as a result of COVID-19, the school announced in a statement today. He was 54 years old.
“I am deeply saddened at the passing of Coach Lopez who was an integral part of our new Soccer program at TMCC,” said TMCC President Dr. Karin Hilgersom. “He embodied the spirit of what we hoped our athletics program would achieve, by giving students opportunities to learn and grow through their passion for soccer and academics.”
Lopez, a 40-year resident of northern Nevada, began coaching the TMCC Mighty Lizards in fall 2019. He coached soccer at the club, high school, and collegiate levels for 25 years including at University of Nevada, Reno. He also recently spent two seasons on the coaching staff for the Northern Nevada Olympic Development Program.
“He was so excited and honored to be coaching at a college level,” said Lopez’s widow, Katherine Lopez. “It was something he had dreamed of but never thought would happen. He loved the game of soccer and loved teaching it. He was as passionate about the players as he was about the game.”
His support of student-athletes as a coach and mentor was noted by several students on both the men’s and women’s squads and the Athletics program.
Lopez entered the ICU on March 25 where he received care for many weeks. Although there are no services planned at this time, an event honoring Gonzalo’s life may be announced in the future.