No Cause Released in Death of 43-Year-Old Former Gamecocks QB


The University of South Carolina football team suffered a tragic loss on Thursday.

Phil Petty, a former starting quarterback for the Gamecocks, died after a brief hospital stay in Columbia, the Greenville News reported. He was 43.

The cause of death was not released.

The beloved quarterback started for coach Lou Holtz from 1999 to 2001 as South Carolina improved from 0-11 to 8-4 and 9-3.

The Gamecocks beat Ohio State in the Outback Bowl after those last two seasons, and Petty was named MVP of the second game after throwing for 227 yards and two touchdowns.

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After years of playing football, Petty decided to dive into coaching. He worked at Hammond School in Columbia in 2003 and then was an assistant at South Carolina and East Carolina, according to The State.

Last month, he joined the staff of Gray Collegiate Academy in West Columbia.

Many paid tribute to Petty on social media.

“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of a great Gamecock,” the South Carolina football account posted Thursday.

“I have great memories of him,” Holtz told Mike Gillespie of WOLO-TV in Columbia. “He was a great player but he was also a better teammate. Players come and go. Teammates last a lifetime.

“I would be proud to call him my son.”

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“Phil Petty typified what a Gamecock truly is,” South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner said in a statement Thursday.

“A native South Carolinian, he was a fighter on the football field, a tremendous person off the field and beloved by all Gamecocks,” Tanner continued. “He was a great friend to many and a wonderful dad and husband.”

The Gamecocks’ current coach also gave his condolences.

“So sorry to hear the news of @GamecockFB great Phil Petty passing away. Thoughts & prayers to his family,” Shane Beamer tweeted.

Petty is survived by his wife, Morgan, and two children, Sage and McCoy.

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