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Former Arizona Cardinals wide receivers coach Darryl Drake dies

Wide Receivers coach Darryl Drake of the Arizona Cardinals arrives during the team training camp at University of Phoenix Stadium on August 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced wide receivers coach Darryl Drake died early Sunday morning.

“Darryl had such an impact on the players he coached and everyone he worked with throughout his entire career,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement. “He was a passionate coach and had a tremendous spirit toward life, his family, his faith and the game of football.”

Drake previously held the same position with the Arizona Cardinals from 2013 until he joined Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin’s staff in 2018.

“Darryl was a close friend and had a tremendous impact on my coaching career,” Tomlin said 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. 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.”

The Arizona Cardinals also released a statement on Twitter following the news of his passing.

Drake played college football at Western Kentucky. From there, he spent one season in the Canadian Football League with the Ottawa Rough Riders and spent a few stints with NFL teams in training camp, including the Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals.

After returning to Western Kentucky to pursue a master’s degree, he returned to the football program as a graduate assistant.

The move launched his coaching career where he had coaching stints with Georgia, Baylor and Texas.

Drake broke into the NFL as a receivers coach in 2004 with the Chicago Bears.

Drake leaves behind his wife, Sheila, daughters Shanice, Felisha and Marian as well as two grandchildren. He was 62-years-old.

The Steelers also announced the team canceled its Sunday practice at Saint Vincent College.

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