YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A student coach for the Youngstown State University football team is being treated in the hospital after a serious accident on Tuesday in Neshannock Township.
The car 19-year-old freshman Daniel Minenok was in crashed into a garbage truck head-on. He’s now at St. Elizabeth Hospital.
“Daniel is not only just a good person, but he’s someone that gives so much to this program,” said YSU junior Colten McFadden. “We’re just really thinking about them and their family.”
The community is rallying behind him, letting him know he’s not alone.
“You really do have all of Youngstown behind your back. Daniel is one of the strongest people I know,” said YSU sophomore Vinny Gentile.
Minenok is in the Honors College studying engineering. But out of the classroom, he’s a student coach for the football team.
“He has a serious love for the game of football and he’s a great student. I just want him to know that someone like that, that has that drive and that fight in him, I got his back no matter what,” said YSU sophomore Griffin Hoak.
Minenok’s brother, Patrick, is a senior on the team. Head coach Doug Phillips says they are both a part of the program’s family and will be supported like brothers.
“Because what is a team? It’s bringing people together who care about one another,” Phillips said.
Phillips tweeted about the crash Wednesday morning:
Those who know Minenok say he will need five major surgeries to recover from the accident. A long road, but one he won’t be traveling alone.
“We are thankful that Daniel is going to be recovering. It’s probably going to be a tough recovery but we’re going to be there every step of the way and support our brothers,” Phillips said.
An online fundraising campaign has raised more than $20,000 and counting for Minenok and his recovery.
“We really, truly appreciate all his hard work and contributions to this football program. We’re very fortunate to have people like him be a part of this program and a part of this university,” McFadden said.
“I just want him, Pat and the whole Minenok family to know that we really do… This team, this city really is behind you guys and we really do love you guys and we’re always here for you,” Gentile said.
“Keep fighting, keep recovering and to know that he’s got 110 plus that are supporting him. We want him back here, we do miss him. He’s an integral part of our coaching staff and our team,” Phillips said.