PITTSBURGH – The receivers coach Pittsburgh Steelers , Darryl Drake , died during the night, the team announced in a statement.
“We are speechless after Darryl Drake’s death this morning,” Steelers president Art Rooney said in a statement. “Darryl had a great impact on the players he trained and everyone he worked with throughout his career. He was a passionate coach and had a tremendous spirit towards life, his family, his faith and the football game. Our prayers and thoughts are with his wife, Sheila, their three daughters, their grandchildren and the whole family during this difficult time. “
Statement from #Steelers President Art Rooney II on the passing of Darryl Drake.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 11, 2019
Drake , 62, joined the Steelers in 2018 after long seasons with Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals in the same position. His career also included stops in western Kentucky, Georgia, Baylor and Texas before moving on to professionals.
The Kentucky native was born in Louisville and played as an open catcher for western Kentucky from 1975-78.
After three years playing in practice squads for Cincinnati Bengals, Washington Redskins and Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Soccer League, Drake returned to western Kentucky in 1983 as a graduate assistant until Chicago hired him in 2004.
He stayed with Bears for eight years and was an assistant in the 2006 team that fell to Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI.
He was an excellent community Servant
While his career was firmly based on football, Drake also enjoyed the opportunities his position as an assistant coach with the Bears gave him. During his time in Chicago, Drake regularly participated in several community service projects, including Community Reader’s Day, an event in which several Bears employees and alumni participated.
He earned a master’s degree and began training as a graduate student
Drake has worked with open receivers such as Brandon Marshall, Larry Fitzgerald and Antonio Brown, and his educational pedigree is equally impressive. When Drake’s coach career began in 1983, he was a graduate assistant in Western Kentucky.
His love for football throughout his life and the position he played were reflected in his career trajectory: he began training football while earning a Masters degree in Counseling. Drake also earned a degree in Business Administration from Western Kentucky.
Drake is survived by his wife Sheila, their three daughters and grandchildren.