Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake dead at 62

Tanya Simon
August 13, 2019

Drake, a Louisville, Kentucky, native who played college football at Western Kentucky University, joined the NFL as a receivers coach with the Chicago Bears in 2004.

He moved on to the same position with the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 before joining Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin's staff previous year. Both his cause and manner of death are pending, said Ken Bacha of the Westmoreland County coroner's office. Darryl had such an impact on the players he coached and everyone he worked with throughout his entire career. "He was an incredible husband, father and grandfather, and it is hard to put into words the grief our entire team is going through right now".

Drake is survived by his wife, Sheila, daughters Shanice, Felisha and Marian, and two grandchildren.

He spent one season in the Canadian Football League and participated in a pair of NFL training camps before returning to Western Kentucky to pursue a master's degree.

Drake, 62, had been with the Steelers since replacing longtime receivers coach Richard Mann at the end of the 2017 season, following Mann's retirement. "As a man, a coach, a husband, and a father, he was as good as they come", Fitzgerald wrote. "Let faith guide us all through this incredibly hard moment... sending prayers to all of the extended Drake family, especially to his incredible wife Sheila and their handsome children".

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"I never had the pleasure of working with Coach Drake, but listening to the stories about him, he was an incredible man, amazing coach".

Today the Bears along with a number of former players are reacting to the news on social media.

The Steelers canceled their Sunday practice.

Drake was well-liked by the Steelers, where he was remembered for his one-liners in practice, including "don't drag the toe, click it" when coaching wide receivers to stay in bounds during drills.

"I wish I could see you just one more time", Smith-Schuster said on Twitter. He has a press conference scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday after the team's walkthrough session.

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