Arthur Linnehan, who coached the Briggs Chaney-White Oak Sports Association Pony Division football team, died Saturday after suffering a massive heart attack during his team's Capital Beltway League playoff game at Maplewood Sports Park in Bethesda.
Linnehan, 50, was walking onto the field during a timeout late in the fourth quarter when he fell to the ground, said Briggs Chaney commissioner James White.
Linnehan remained there until the ambulance arrived. White, who was one of the first people to attend to Linnehan, said he rolled the Silver Spring native over and began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but could not revive him. Linnehan was then taken to Suburban Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
"The doctor said he probably passed away on the field," said White, who coached with Linnehan for more than five years "He probably died right there in my arms."
After meeting with coaches from both teams, officials called the game and declared Briggs Chaney the winner. Briggs Chaney led 13-9 with 30 seconds left when the incident occurred. Briggs Chaney will play Montgomery Village Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the Capital Beltway League championship at Blair High School. The winner of that game advances to the Metropolitan Area Youth Super Bowl semifinals.
"Arthur was a great coach," said White. "He truly cared about the kids he worked with. He was from the old school. He believed in working as hard as you could to be as good as you could. He just got the most of the kids. . . . The whole league misses him."
Linnehan is survived by his wife, Sumalee, sister, Marsha Church, and children, Jason and Rana. Services will be held today at 1 p.m. at Pumphrey's Funeral Home in Bethesda.
"Arthur was a great man," said White. "This is a real tragedy."
Brian Straus contributed to this story.