Steelers announce death of wide receivers coach Darryl Drake

Steelers announce death of wide receivers coach Darryl Drake

Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake died Sunday morning, the team announced. He was 62.

The cause of death was not immediately revealed as Steelers president Art Rooney II addressed the longtime college and NFL coach’s unexpected passing.

“We are at a loss for words following Darryl Drake’s passing this morning,” Rooney 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. 

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

Drake was in his second season with the Steelers after previously serving as the wide receivers coach with the Bears from 2004-12 and the Cardinals from 2013-17.

“Darryl was a close friend and had a tremendous impact on my coaching career,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, per the team’s website. “He was an amazing husband, father and grandfather, and it’s 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 coached. We will use our faith to guide us and help his family through this difficult time.”

Before transitioning to the pros, Drake also had coaching stints in college football at Western Kentucky — his alma mater — along with Georgia, Baylor and Texas.

The Steelers are scheduled to host the Chiefs for their second preseason game Saturday after topping the Buccaneers, 30-28, in their home preseason opener Friday.