Avila University mourns loss of head baseball coach Daryl Cronk

Avila baseball coach
Posted at 7:50 PM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 23:00:30-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Avila University head baseball coach and Assistant Athletic Director Daryl Cronk, died early Sunday, the school announced.

"This morning was hard," Avila University Director of Athletics Shawn Summe said in a statement. "[Daryl] was a great and genuine man. His ability to develop relationships with his players, coaches and those he meets is a lost art today."

Cronk, 46, served as head coach for the Eagles for 10 seasons

He led Eagles to 250 victories and his teams appeared in six conference tournaments and three NAIA tournaments.

"There were conference championships and national tournament appearances but what was most important was all the lasting relationships he built," Summe said. "Daryl created a culture of family within the Avila baseball program and that's the most important thing a coach can do."

The Belton, Missouri, native was a standout pitcher at Belton High School and earned All-American honors as a pitcher at Pittsburg State University.

He is a member of the Hall of Fame at Belton High School and Pittsburg State University, according to Tim Hackett, Sports Information Director at Avila University.

In addition, Cronk played for two seasons in the Frontier League, a professional independent baseball league.

He also served as a coach at Central Missouri State University and for other teams before coming to Avila, Hackett said.

Cronk passed away surrounded by family and friends.

Cronk's nephew Preston Pruett created a GoFundMe page to help pay for hospital expenses.

"Anyone who knows Daryl, knows he would give the shirt off his back for anyone. He has done so much for so many people," Pruett said on the GoFundMe page.