Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake died Sunday morning, the team announced. He was 62.
The cause of death was not immediately revealed as Steelers president Art Rooney II addressed the longtime college and NFL coach’s unexpected passing.
“We are at a loss for words following Darryl Drake’s passing this morning,” Rooney said in a 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.
“Our prayers and thoughts are with his wife, Sheila, his three daughters, his grandchildren and entire family during this difficult time.”
Statement from #Steelers President Art Rooney II on the passing of Darryl Drake.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 11, 2019
Drake was in his second season with the Steelers after previously serving as the wide receivers coach for the Bears from 2004-12 and the Cardinals from 2013-17. Both teams extended their condolences as well.
Today we mourn the untimely passing of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake. Darryl was the former Bears wide receivers coach under Lovie Smith from 2004-12, including the 2006 Super Bowl appearance.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 11, 2019
Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of Darryl Drake. It is impossible to overstate his impact on the game in nearly four decades as a coach in college and the NFL.
Today, the entire football community mourns his loss.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) August 11, 2019
Before transitioning to the pros, Drake also had coaching stints at Western Kentucky — his alma mater — as well as Georgia, Baylor and Texas.
“Darryl was a close friend and had a tremendous impact on my coaching career,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, per the team’s website. “He was an amazing husband, father and grandfather, and it’s difficult to put into words the grief our entire team is going through right now. Darryl loved the game of football and every player he coached. We will use our faith to guide us and help his family through this difficult time.”
The Steelers cancelled Sunday’s practice and it’s unknown if they will resume workouts Monday.
Pittsburgh is scheduled to host the Chiefs for its second preseason game Saturday after topping the Buccaneers, 30-28, in its home preseason opener Friday.