RIP Darryl Drake — Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Dead At 62

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How Did Darryl Drake Die? New Details On Death Of Pittsburgh Steelers Coach At 62

RIP Darryl Drake. The Pittsburgh Steelers are mourning the death of their wide receivers coach Darryl Drake. He was just starting his second season with the team when he died Sunday. He was 62. Steelers president Art Rooney II issued the following 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.” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin called Drake a close friend and also issued 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,” 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.” How did Darryl Drake die?

1. His playing career

Darryl Drake was a native of Louisville, Kentucky. He was born in 1956. He played wide receiver for Western Kentucky University from 1975 to 1978. After college he played for the Washington Redskins in 1978, the CFL's Ottawa Rough Riders in 1981 and the Cincinnati Bengals in 1983. 

2. His coaching career

Drake coached college football for 21 years at a number of schools. He spent nine years at his alma mater, Western Kentucky University. He also coached at the University of Georgia, Baylor University and the University of Texas. In 2004, he joined the Chicago Bears coaching staff. He left the Bears in 2012. He then spent five seasons from 2013 to 2018 with the Arizona Cardinals. He joined the Pittsburgh Steelers staff in 2018.

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3. Tributes from the Bears and Cardinals

The Chicago Bears took to Twitter to post a memorial to their former wide receivers coach.“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.”

The Cardinals also offered their condolences on Twitter, writing: “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.”

4. Tributes from players he coached

Charles Tillman, a former cornerback for the Bears, wrote: “I am at a loss for words during the sorrowful time. Darryl Drake was a great man who loved the game of football but more importantly he was a great father and husband. My heart hurts knowing he is no longer with us,” he wrote. “I will always cherish the good times and the many laughs we had."

Lance Briggs, a former lineman with the Bears, wrote: “Shared a lot of genuine laughs with this man over my career. We lost a great one. You are missed Darryl Drake.”

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5. He was an inspiration

Former Tampa Bay quarterback Josh McCown shared a story on Twitter about the impact Darryl Drake had on him in high school. He took to Twitter to write: "Going into my senior year of HS I had not received a scholarship offer.We went down to Baylor football camp in hopes of creating some interest. I was a back-up my junior year so this camp was critical. I was a relative unknown & certainly not one of the QBs they were focused on. Daryl Drake was the Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach.Towards the end of the camp he pulled me aside & said “let me tell you something,you gon be alright baby,you got what it takes to play at this level” shortly after that Baylor offered me.His words meant so much as a young player."

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6. His family

Drake is survived by his wife Sheila, daughters Shanice, Felisha and Marian and two grandchildren. A cause of death has not been released at this time.

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.