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Pittsburgh Steelers WRs coach Darryl Drake dies at 62

By
Connor Grott
Former Chicago Bears assistant coach Darryl Drake joined the Pittsburgh Steelers as a wide receivers coach in 2018. File Photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI
Former Chicago Bears assistant coach Darryl Drake joined the Pittsburgh Steelers as a wide receivers coach in 2018. File Photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake died suddenly, the team announced Sunday. He was 62.

The Steelers didn't disclose a cause of death. The team canceled their training camp practice Sunday and closed the campus at Saint Vincent College to all fans.

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Pittsburgh also announced that Monday's training camp practice was canceled. The team is expected to return to practice Tuesday.

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

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"Our prayers and thoughts are with his wife, Sheila, his three daughters, his grandchildren and entire family during this difficult time."

Drake was entering his second season as the Steelers' wide receivers coach after the franchise hired him in January 2018. He was an assistant coach for 16 years in the NFL, serving as a receivers coach for the Chicago Bears (2004-12) and Arizona Cardinals (2013-17).

"Darryl was a close friend and had a tremendous impact on my coaching career," Steelers head coach Mike 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.

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"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. My heart and our prayers are with his wife, Sheila, and Darryl's entire family."

Before his NFL coaching career, Drake coached in the college ranks for about 20 years. He played wide receiver at Western Kentucky University in 1975 and 1977-78 and spent time with the Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals.

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