Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver coach Darryl Drake has died, team officials said Sunday. He was 62.
Team president Art Rooney II confirmed Drake’s death Sunday morning in a statement.
“Darryl had such an impact on the players he coached and everyone he worked with throughout his entire career,” Rooney said. “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 called Drake a “close friend” in a statement.
“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.”
In light of his death, the Steelers canceled their Sunday practice at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
Drake joined the team in January 2018 after serving as wide receivers coach for the Arizona Cardinals from 2013 to 2017 and the Chicago Bears from 2004 to 2012, according to the team’s website.
Drake is survived by his wife Sheila, three daughters and his grandchildren.
Players and coaches from across the NFL took to Twitter to mourn his death.
“Darryl Drake was in our coaches bible study,” retired coach Tony Dungy wrote. “He was a tremendous coach and even better man. This is hard to believe and we’re all going to miss him.”
Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu tweeted that he’d miss Drake. The two shared five seasons on the Cardinals.
“Rip Coach Drake. So many good times and memories with you in AZ. We will miss your energy forever!”
Former Steelers wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey shared a photo of the pair during practice.
“My heart is heavy,” he wrote. “Today Steeler Nation and the football world lost not only a good coach but a great man. RIP coach Drake. Thanks for always standing on the table for me.”