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Former South Carolina Standout Quarterback Phil Petty Dies at 43, Third Former Football Player to Pass Away This Week


Former South Carolina quarterback Phil Petty has died at 43.

The university announced Petty’s death on Thursday.

No cause of death was given.

According to USA Today, Petty died “Thursday after a brief hospital stay in Columbia.”

“Petty was hired in April as an assistant coach at Gray Collegiate Academy in Columbia. He was previously an assistant at the Hammond school and under former USC assistant Skip Holtz at East Carolina,” USA Today added.

ESPN recapped Petty’s collegiate career on the field and his coaching stints.

Petty was a part-time starter in 1999, when the Gamecocks went 0-11 in Holtz’s first season. Petty took over the job full time the next season and engineered a turnaround: South Carolina went 17-7 with a pair of Outback Bowl victories over Ohio State after the 2000 and 2001 seasons.

Petty spent a season in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans before moving into coaching. He was a South Carolina graduate assistant and then spent five seasons on staff at East Carolina under Skip Holtz, Lou’s son and South Carolina’s former offensive coordinator.

Petty was among the top 10 in several career categories at South Carolina, including sixth with 454 pass completions, seventh with 5,652 passing yards and ninth with 28 passing touchdowns.

“Phil Petty typified what a Gamecock truly is,” South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner said in a statement Thursday. “A native South Carolinian, he was a fighter on the football field, a tremendous person off the field and beloved by all Gamecocks. He was a great friend to many and a wonderful dad and husband. My prayers go out to his wife, Morgan, children, Sage and McCoy, and his many friends,” a report from The State added.

Petty’s death is the third tragic incident this week involving a former football player.

WLT on Thursday reported the passing of former Notre Dame offensive lineman Paul Duncan.

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Duncan passed away after suffering cardiac arrest while running in his neighborhood.

“Paul went into cardiac arrest while on a run in our neighborhood,” Duncan's wife, Ellen, said on social media. 

“Today he was pronounced brain dead. We will have a medical examination to understand cause of death. His body will be donated to people in need of organs to medical research. Details on funeral arrangements to follow.”

On Tuesday, former Super Bowl-winning wide receiver and Heritage High School assistant athletic director Charles Johnson died at the age of 50, as reported by CBS17.

According to the outlet, Johnson’s cause of death has not yet been released.

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Per CBS17:

Johnson spent nine seasons in the NFL, winning the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots during the 2001 season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted him out of Colorado in the first round with the No. 17 overall pick in 1994, and he spent five seasons with them.

He also played two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and retired after playing with the Buffalo Bills in 2002.

He caught 354 passes for 4,606 yards with 24 touchdowns in his career. He also started 87 of his 133 games played.


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