EWING — An assistant football coach from The College of New Jersey was killed in a car crash on Tuesday morning on Route 195.

State Police said Donald L. Klein III, 37, of Tinton Falls, was driving his Jeep Wrangler when he veered off to the right near Exit 3 for Hamilton Square and struck a tree.  Klein was the only person in the Jeep.

The investigation into the crash caused delays in both directions of Route 195 during the morning commute.

Klein was the offensive line coach/recruiting coordinator/video coordinator for TCNJ.

"We are in shock at the news of Coach Klein’s passing," TCNJ Executive Director for Athletics Amanda DeMartino said in a statement. "Donny was beloved by the team and his colleagues and his energy and upbeat personality were admired by all of us at TCNJ. He will be greatly missed by our campus community. Our thoughts are with his family and friends."

Klein was a 1999 graduate of Manasquan High School and a standout football player who helped the Warriors win the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group 2 championship in 1998, an undefeated 12-0 season. He was also a standout lacrosse player.

"Donny was a one-of-a-kind individual who was larger than life, both literally and figuratively,” said Manasquan head football coach Jay Price. “The only thing bigger than his smile was his heart."

Klein played college football at Temple University and returned home to coach both football and lacrosse at Manasquan.

"I saw Donny regularly when he coached football and lacrosse at Manasquan," Bob Badders, of the Shore Sports Network, said. "While I wasn’t very close with him, I knew him well enough where we’d always say hello and chat whenever he was at a sporting event I happened to be covering. He was a gentle giant with a big heart. It’s a big loss for that community."

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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