Published: Tue, August 13, 2019
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Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake dies at 62, team says

Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake dies at 62, team says

"We are at a loss for words following Darryl Drake's passing this morning", Steelers president Art Rooney said in a statement.

Drake broke into the National Football League in 2004, landing a job with the Chicago Bears as the team's new receivers coach, a position he would hold for nine seasons. The team did not disclose his cause of death, but the early reports indicate that Drake died "suddenly" without provocation.

He moved on to the same position with the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 before joining Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin's staff in 2018.

"He was an awesome husband, father and grandfather, and it is hard to put into words the grief our entire team is going through right now", Tomlin said.


Drake was a highly respected coach whose football career spanned five decades, starting as a collegiate player for Western Kentucky University in 1975, before playing wide receiver for the Washington Redskins, the Ottawa Rough Riders and the Cincinnati Bengals. He went on to coach at Texas, Baylor and Georgia. The Louisville native was initially resistant to getting into coaching, but he eventually accepted an offer to join Western Kentucky's staff as a graduate assistant.

Drake was in his second year with the Steelers and also served as the wide receivers coach with the Bears and Cardinals before heading to Pittsburgh. We will use our faith to guide us and help his family throughout (this) hard time. "Darryl was the former Bears wide receivers coach under Lovie Smith from 2004-12, including the 2006 Super Bowl appearance". "He was a tremendous coach and even better man".

Drake is survived by his wife Sheila, three daughters and his grandchildren. While Chicago's official Twitter handle issued a statement on Drake's passing on Sunday, several former Bears players, including tight end Greg Olsen, offered their own tributes to Drake via social media.

"I saw the hours coaches put in and said no, that's not what I want to do", Drake said (via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review). The Steelers canceled their training camp practice on Sunday, and it's uncertain whether they will practice Monday.

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