LATROBE, PA – Many in the National Football League community are mourning the death of a longtime assistant coach who spent a significant amount of his career in the league in Chicago.
Statement from Coach Tomlin on the passing of Darryl Drake.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 11, 2019
On Sunday, the Steelers announced that wide receivers coach Darryl Drake died suddenly at the team’s training camp at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
“Darryl was a close friend and had a tremendous impact on my coaching career. 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,” said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin in a statement released by the team. “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.”
Drake was with the Steelers the last two seasons but began his stint in the NFL with the Bears in 2004, joining the team with new head coach Lovie Smith. He would remain with the team through his entire tenure and was apart of the staff that helped the Bears to three NFC North titles and a Super Bowl appearance in January 2007.
After he was let go along with Smith after the 2012 season, Drake served under Bruce Arians with the Cardinals from 2013-2017 before joining the Steelers in 2018.
Today the Bears along with a number of former players are reacting to the news on social media.
We extend our deepest condolences to the Drake family and friends as well as the entire Steelers organization.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 11, 2019
RIP Coach Drake
Condolences to the Drake Family.
He will be missed. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
— ANTHONY ADAMS (@spiceadams) August 11, 2019
Rest In Heaven Coach Drake! You made the daily grind a joy to be apart of, always there with an open heart to help us in anyway you could on and off the field! The impact you had with every player you touched will last forever!
Heaven Truly Gained an Angel!#RestInHeaven pic.twitter.com/esMXorgz9v
— Jason McKie (@Jmack37) August 11, 2019
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. I will always cherish the good times and the many laughs we had. pic.twitter.com/QFabqQ5JIH
— Charles Tillman (@peanuttillman) August 11, 2019