DEER PARK, Ohio — Deer Park Schools is saddened to learn of the passing of Deer Park legend Hank Estes on Monday night. Estes was 89 years old.
“Hank Estes was an incredibly generous man that dedicated his life to Deer Park Schools,” Superintendent Jay Phillips said. “Today is a sad day for all of us. However, the impact we’ll feel throughout Deer Park from Hank’s legacy will undoubtedly be around for decades to come."
Throughout his life, Estes dedicated himself to the service of the students of Deer Park Schools, originally joining the district as a coach in the 1950s. During that time, he also served as a physical education and health teacher at Amity for grades 4-7.
Estes would continue coaching up until his retirement in 1981, serving in a variety of roles from junior high and varsity football coach, junior high and varsity basketball coach and head varsity baseball coach.
In 1977, Estes led the Deer Park baseball team to its first-ever OHSAA State Championship, which remains one of only two state titles for Deer Park in any sport in school history.
Following his retirement in 1981, Estes remained a fixture of Deer Park athletics, even volunteering to line the football field prior to each game before the installation of artificial turf in 2016. Estes also played a pivotal role in the Turf Project, helping to raise the $700,000 necessary for the installation.
Estes was also a catalyst for the introduction of the “Keep Improving Deer Park Schools (K.I.D.S.)” Committee which, since its inception in 1997, has generated over $150,000 in donations to fund various improvements to the school district.
A fixture in his legendary chair on the sideline of every Deer Park Wildcat football game (and hundreds of other events throughout the years), Estes was honored annually at a football game each year, beginning in 2014. “Hank Estes Night” will continue to be a staple of the football season for years to come.
Estes’ legacy lives on throughout Deer Park Schools, as the namesake of the baseball field, along with signage honoring the legend at both the football stadium and in the High School gymnasium.
“Hank’s passing will be felt by all of us for years to come,” Phillips said. “He not only loved Deer Park Schools more than anyone I’ve met, he truly encapsulated everything that was great about this district and this community. He will be sincerely missed.”
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