This story was originally published in the fifth edition of The Lion’s Tale (March 26, 2021).
Coach, teacher, husband, dad, and friend- these are some of the many roles Tyler Lampe plays in his family and community. Lampe, who is the offensive coordinator on the varsity football team, began this school year like any other, preparing students for the modern world through the digital information technology program at OHS.
On the field, he focused on helping his players improve in hopes of enticing colleges to look their way. Then, in January, Lampe was suddenly diagnosed with T Cell Lymphoma, leaving the local community in shock.
Soon after news of the diagnosis spread, multiple events were held in his honor, including a Lake Howell softball game against Oviedo. Defensive coordinator John Rondone created a GoFundMe page to assist in covering the substantial costs of treatment.
“I know there’s 1000 people Lampe has come across that he’s positively influenced,” Rondone said. “I wanted to make sure that those people can reach out and make his life a little bit easier for himself and his wife. He’s got a two year old and his wife is pregnant.”
The GoFundMe page was originally given a goal of $25,000 and ended up receiving over $48,000. Hundreds of people donated and left messages expressing their support, prayers and wishes for a speedy recovery.
“I can’t put into words how just humbling and amazing it is to see the type of support, and just the thoughts and prayers… I just can’t,” Lampe said. “There’s not enough words for me to use.”
Though Oviedo just announced the hiring of a new head coach, Greg Odierno, Lampe noted he’s a long way from returning to action.
“It’s still really pretty early in the process, but long term, yeah, I would [come back],” Lampe said.
Rondone also emphasized the need for a slow, careful approach before getting back on the field.
“I know he wants to come back,” Rondone said. “I know he’ll have to take it slow. So I think teaching will be the first thing that he can come back and do. I think this will shine a new light on his family, [and make him] realize that family has got to come first.”
Lampe has fostered many friendships throughout his coaching career, which began at Lake Howell.
“We have the same common interests, [namely] football.” Rondone said. “Once he got on campus, that’s when we really started [being friends], because we were always doing stuff together, him being the off ensive coordinator, me being the defensive coordinator. We’re always working together, so that’s when it really shot to the moon.” He also developed close bonds with his players.
“Personally, he sends me text messages all the time, checks up on me, says ‘what’s up’, sees how I’m doing on and off the field; [he’s] a great coach, always helping me with anything,” said Alex Saunders, a junior wide receiver on the varsity football team.
Those who know Lampe are unified in a desire to support him in any way they can.
“Lampe was a big part of our social life outside of school and outside of football.. the football kids, they’re all concerned,” Rondonde said. “So every time I see them, they ask, because they all love him. Everybody wants to do something more- [past] players, and current players.
There’s nothing we can do right now… when he comes back, [I hope] that he is able to do what he loves again, and that’s coach football.”
Lampe is currently in the process of chemotherapy.