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Darryl Drake dies suddenly, Steelers coach’s cause of death still unconfirmed

Darryl Drake
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake dies at 62. Pic credit: iCoach App/YouTube

Darryl Drake, Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receivers coach, died suddenly on Sunday morning at age 62, the team has announced. A cause of death was not revealed in the statement released by Steelers president Art Rooney II.

“We are at a loss for words following Darryl Drake’s passing this morning,” Rooney said in the statement. “Darryl had such an impact on the players he coached and everyone he worked with throughout his entire career. He was a passionate coach and had a tremendous spirit toward life, his family, his faith and the game of football.”

Head coach Mike Tomlin also released a statement, describing Drake as a “close friend” who influenced his career.

“He was an amazing husband, father and grandfather, and it is difficult to put into words the grief our entire team is going through right now,” Tomlin said. “Darryl loved the game of football and every player he ever coached. We will use our faith to guide us and help his family throughout the difficult time.”

Drake, born December 1956, was a native of Louisville, Kentucky. He played college football (wide receiver) at Western Kentucky University from 1975 to 1978. He also played wide receiver for Washington Redskins (1979), the Ottawa Rough Riders (1981), and the Cincinnati Bengals (1983). He coached for 21 years at the collegiate level.

He started his career in the NFL in February 2004 when the Chicago Bears hired him as wide receivers coach. He also served as wide receivers coach for the Arizona Cardinals from 2013 to 2017. The Pittsburgh Steelers hired as wide receivers coach in January 2018 and he was heading into his second season with the team at the time of his passing.

Both the Chicago Bears and the Arizona Cardinals reacted to the news of his death.

Colleagues, friends and fans have all been left mourning Drake’s death, and and many took to Twitter to pay tribute.

The Steelers canceled the team’s practice scheduled to take place on Sunday at St. Vincent College campus, according to USA Today.

Drake leaves behind his wife Shiela, and three daughters Shanice, Marian, and Felisha.

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