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Pennsylvania high school coach Chris Bentley dead at 46

Chris Bentley, head wrestling coach at Pennsylvania's Trinity High School, died Thursday. He was 46.

Chris Bentley (Photo/Sean Simmers, PennLive)
According to the school's athletic director, Gary Bricker, Bentley was at work at Clarks America when he collapsed and could not be resuscitated. Bricker told PennLive.com cause of death appears to have been a heart attack.

"He was a wonderful individual and outstanding leader to our program, and he was a great role model to our kids," Bricker told The Sentinel.

"Coach Bentley was a much loved and respected husband, father, friend, and coach to everyone who knew him," Trinity principal John Cominsky said in an email to the school community. "He was a man of deep faith."

Bentley is survived by his wife Lara, and two sons, Devin and Caleb, both who wrestled for their father at Trinity.

Bentley played football and wrestled in high school and college. He was named head coach of the Trinity Shamrocks just weeks before the start of their inaugural season in 2010-11. Although that first season was a bit of struggle for the team -- having compiled a 0-3 record -- there were high points for Trinity throughout Bentley's coaching career. That first season, Adam Geiger won the program' first District 3 Class AA individual championship. One year later, Ryan Diehl claimed the Shamrock's first individual Pennsylvania state title.

Bentley's influence spread beyond Trinity.

"He was a great coach and I think that's how a lot of people will remember him, as a coach, but I think it's also equally important to remember that he was a father and a husband and I ultimately feel for those people that were left behind," said Dave Heckard, Cumberland Valley wrestling coach. "I feel for us and the wrestling community, who are a close group and a tight knit bunch."

"Coach Chris was much more than a wrestling coach," according to Cole Forrester, Shippensburg rising senior and wrestler. "He was a mentor and hero to me and many other wrestlers who got to wrestle under him. For my freshman year at Trinity, he took me under his wing and treated me like a son. Coach was truly invested in all of his athletes and the sport. I can't thank him enough for all he has done for me and for help shaping me into the man I am today."

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.

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