Former NFL Player, youth football coach dies from COVID-19 complications

Former NFL player Tim Lester earned the nickname "Bus Driver" while serving as Fullback for Hall of Famer Jerome "The Bus"  Bettis during 5 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the ''90s.

Bettis paid tribute to his dear friend on Instagram after learning of his death writing, "Tim you were more than my Fullback, you were my brother. You paved the way for me. I can't express how much I am going to miss you."

Lester was inducted into the Kentucky Football Hall of Fame in 2018. He retired from the NFL after eight seasons. A man of great faith and religious conviction, the husband and father of three was also an ordained minister. Lester shared the lessons he learned on and off the field with young athletes.  

Fellowship Christian School Athletics Director David Lowery told FOX 5's Deidra Dukes, "He [Lester] wanted to use every opportunity he could  to tell people about this guy named Jesus that changed his life."

Lester coached football and held ministerial positions at Kings Ridge Christian School and Milton High School, and currently worked as an assistant coach and minister at Fellowship Christian in Roswell. Friends, colleagues, and the youth football community were devastated by the news the 52-year-old died unexpectedly Tuesday due to complications of COVID-19.  

Lester founded the Milton Steelers youth football program to give kids who might not otherwise be able to afford to play the sport, the opportunity. The city of Milton shared these images of Lester and members of his youth football program volunteering at the city's "Camp Joyful Soles" summer camp for individuals with special needs.

Struggling to come to grips with his death, Lowery said those who knew and loved Lester find comfort in knowing he is in a better place. "We had about 60 plus  kids on a Zoom call yesterday, and Tim would want them to know that he loved them that Jesus loved them and that he is not in pain anymore."

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