RIP Ed Aschoff — ESPN Reporter Dead At 34

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How Did Ed Aschoff Die? New Details On Tragic Death Of ESPN Reporter At 34
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Ed Aschoff, a familiar face in the world of college sports reporting, passed away this week due to pneumonia. He died on his 34th birthday. 

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The award-winning journalist had been working for ESPN since 2011 when he started at ESPN.com. He eventually moved into on-camera reporting and had been covering SEC football among his other responsibilities at the network.

In the weeks before his death, he had shared on social media that he had been sick with a viral infection that had become pneumonia. 

Aschoff was engaged to be married in 2020 and his fiancé was caring for him while he was sick. Her accounts are private, but she released a statement on Aschoff's Instagram.

How did Ed Aschoff die? 

1. Ed Aschoff grew up in the South.

Aschoff grew up in Oxford, MS, where his father was a professor at Ole Miss. His mother was a teacher. He went to the University of Florida and majored in journalism and went on to spend four years covering sports at the University of Florida for The Gainesville Sun

2. He was considered a rising star at ESPN. 

In 2011, he joined ESPN.com in Atlanta before moving to Los Angeles to expand his work into on-camera reporting as well as his online columns. He was a regular on SportsCenter, SEC Network and ESPN Radio, as well as doing sideline reporting for TV and radio during college football games.

He was honored by the Football Writers Association in 2016 for a column he co-wrote with Adam Rittenberg about African-American college football players dealing with racism and profiling. In 2018, he and co-author Mark Schlabach won the award for 'Best Column Of The Year' for a piece they wrote about Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain termination in the face of controversial remarks he made the rights of fans to send players hate mail and threats.  

"Ed was one of the smartest, brightest reporters I've ever had the pleasure of working with," ESPN executive editor Lauren Reynolds said. "Watching him grow from our co-SEC reporter with Chris Low to a multiplatform national reporter was a treat. For as good of a reporter Ed was, he was an even better person. He always put people first —those whose stories he told, and those who had the honor of working alongside him. The outpouring of love and support from those whose lives he touched has been overwhelming and is a testament to the light he brought to this world."

3. ESPN announced his passing on Christmas Eve.

In a statement, the network shared the terrible news that Aschoff had passed away on his 34th birthday. 

"We are very sorry to have to share the devastating news of the tragic passing of friend and ESPN colleague Edward Aschoff," ESPN said in a statement. "He died earlier today, his 34th birthday. Our thoughts are with his loved ones, including his fiancé, Katy."

4. How did Ed Aschoff die? He had been sick for several weeks. 

On December 4th, Aschoff posted a photo of his fiancé on his Instagram account. In the caption, he shared that he had been battling pneumonia for a while and it was taking a toll on him.

"Having pneumonia is pretty terrible. Like the absolute worst. But it helps having this sweet angel taking care of you even when she’s risking getting this soul-crushing illness herself," he wrote about himself and Katy Berteau. "All the soup, tea and delicious meals have kept me from crawling into a corner and crying the days away. Love you, babe. Thanks for putting up with my 5 am coughing fits @katybert #wcw"

The following day he tweeted about his health:

Aschoff had been sick for weeks.

5. He had been planning to get married in April 2020.

Aschoff was engaged to Katy Berteau, whom he met at a mutual friend's wedding. It wasn't love at first sight. In fact, she thought he was kind of a jerk when they first met. She changed her mind on a subsequent meeting, however. They were out with a group of friends and she got bad news. He took care of her and that sparked a friendship that led to a romance. 

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The pair got engaged on a trip to Atlanta to celebrate Berteau's birthday. He was surprising her with the trip and she thought she might surprise him back. She had a homemade engagement ring, which included a Godzilla toy because he was obsessed with the sci-fi creature.

When they got to Atlanta, she plotted with friends to get photos and video as she dropped to one knee, offered Aschoff the Godzilla she bought him, and asked him to marry her.  

The couple had planned a 2020 wedding.

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6. His colleagues have shared memories of him on social media.

Aschoff's colleagues in the world of sports were shocked and saddened by his death. Fellow ESPN.com reporter Kyle Bonagura wrote, "Edward Aschoff was one of my closest friends. He was was one the most genuine, enthusiastic, personable people I’ve ever and he made the world a better place. Today is unspeakably sad and I’m devastated for Katy and his family."

Greg Sankey, comissioner of the SEC which Aschoff covered for years, tweeted, "We are incredibly sad to learn of Ed’s passing. He was smart, insightful & always prepared, including when he served as one of our guest media officials during a spring game in Athens. Our sympathies & prayers for his family, friends & colleagues."

Ted Spiker, a journalism profession at Aschoff's alma mater the University of Florida wrote, "So sad to hear about the passing of Ed Aschoff. He was a star student at UF and had so much professional success. Most importantly, he was a good, kind, positive person."

Spiker went on to share a memory of one of Aschoff's writing assignments from his college years: a story about a stuffed Mickey Mouse had from when he was a small child. After reading the piece to the class, he pulled out the toy to show he still had it. 

7. His finacé shared a statement. 

Katy Berteau finally opened up about the loss of her fiancé. In a Twitter thread on Aschoff's account, she spoke about his death and the outpouring of love she has received in the aftermath. 

“Hi everyone, this is Katy Berteau, Edward’s fiancé. I want to say thank you to everyone who has expressed their sympathies, condolences, and prayers for me and his family and friends. The outpouring of love, admiration, and gratitude for his life have been so incredible, and have helped me through these last few days. It has brought me brief moments of joy in this darkness to see all the pictures, videos, and memories of all the lives he touched,” she wrote.

“Edward was admitted to the hospital a week after our first visit to the ER, where he was diagnosed with multifocal pneumonia. After failed antibiotic treatment, with worsening of symptoms, we took him back to the ER and he was immediately admitted. After many tests – bone marrow and lung biopsies – treatment was started for a presumed diagnosis of HLH, an unregulated, over-activation of the immune system that causes it to attack itself and other healthy tissues. Within 3 days of being moved into the ICU, he passed,” she continued.

“He loved people with his entire being. We are still working on the details for his services, but there will be a small memorial in Oxford, MS, and a main service will be held in Atlanta, GA. I will share details as soon as I can. Thank you all again for loving him as much as he loved you. With appreciation, Edward’s Fiancé, Katy Berteau,” she concluded. 

Ed Aschoff turned 34 on the day he died. 

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. She is the creator of the blog FeminXer and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.

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