LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Former Flaget and Western Kentucky football player and later WKU and NFL coach Darryl Drake died Sunday at the age of 62.
A press release from Western Kentucky University said Drake died Sunday morning in Latrobe, Pa., the site of Pittsburgh Steelers training camp.
Drake was a wide receiver at Flaget High School in the mid-seventies, before heading to WKU in 1975. He lettered in three seasons with the Hilltoppers under head coach Jimmy Feix.
After stints with the Washington Redskins, Ottawa Roughriders and Cincinnati Bengals, Drake returned to Bowling Green to accept a graduate assistantship coaching position in 1983.
Drake was a graduate assistant from 1983-84, coached wide receivers from 1985-89, defensive backs in 1990 and WRs and quarterbacks in 1991.
He moved around several collegiate football programs in the next decade, before joining Lovie Smith’s staff with the Chicago Bears. He coached wide receivers in Chicago from 2004-12, during which they appeared in Super Bowl 2007.
Drake coached wide receivers for the Arizona Cardinals from 2013-17, and took the same job in the Steelers organization in 2019.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin issued the following statement Sunday on Drake’s passing:
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.
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.
Steelers practice was cancelled on Sunday.
Arrangements for Drake have not been announced.