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Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake has died

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Sunday that wide receivers coach Darryl Drake has died unexpectedly. He was 62 years old.

The cause of death was not disclosed. The club cancelled a scheduled practice for Sunday.

"We are at a loss for words following Darryl Drake's passing this morning. 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," Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement.

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

A Western Kentucky graduate, Drake spent three seasons in the NFL before returning to WKU as a graduate assistant. He would spend nine seasons on staff at his alma mater coaching wide receivers, defensive backs and quarterbacks before moving on to Georgia, Baylor and Texas.

He joined the NFL coaching ranks as the Chicago Bears' wideouts coach from 2004-12, then worked for the Arizona Cardinals from 2013-17 and the Steelers in 2018-19.

"Darryl was a close friend and had a tremendous impact on my coaching career," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. "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."