A promising life, gone entirely too soon.
Over the Christmas holiday weekend, the college football world was rocked by a tragic loss. The University of Utah announced on Saturday (Dec.26) 19-year-old freshman running back Ty Jordan, died. Speaking with ESPN, Denton (Texas) Police Department revealed that officers responded to a call about a shooting at 10:38 p.m. ET Friday.
When officers arrived on the scene, they discovered one victim who suffered a single gunshot wound. The officers did apply life-saving measures on the scene before Jordan was transported to a local hospital where he was sadly pronounced dead. Allison Beckwith, Denton Police Department’s public information officer, told the Disney-owned sports network:
“Following a preliminary investigation, we do believe that this was an accidental shooting, where the victim accidentally shot himself.”
In a statement shared on Saturday, Utah President Ruth V. Watkins spoke on behalf of the university in sharing their condolences to Jordan’s family.
“On behalf of the entire University of Utah, our love and condolences to Ty Jordan’s family, friends, teammates, and coaches. We are devastated by this heartbreaking news. To watch Ty on the field was to be thrilled by his athleticism and talent. Rest In Peace, Ty.”
Jordan’s head coach, Kyle Whittingham, added that the team is “devastated.”
“Ty’s personality and smile were infectious, and he made a huge impact on our program in the short time he was with us. He leaves an indelible mark on each of us, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. From the bottom of our hearts, all of us in the Utah Football Family want to say we love you, Ty, and may you rest in peace.”
Jordan’s future at Utah was extremely bright. In his first year as a Ute, the Mesquite Texas native ran for 597 yards with six touchdowns on 83 carries in five games, which earned him Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year. He was also named to the All-Pac-12 second team and ranked fourth in the Pac-12 in rushing yards and third in rushing yards per game. He was the first Utes freshman running back to post three consecutive 100-yard rushing games since 1995.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott also spoke on the tragic death of Jordan, adding:
“We share in the shock and sadness felt by our Utah community today upon learning of the passing of one of our family members, Ty Jordan. Our thoughts, prayers, and deepest condolences are with his loved ones. The entire Pac-12 and college football family mourn this tremendous loss.”
Utah AD Mark Harlan said his own statement on Jordan’s passing:
“We are deeply saddened and shocked to learn of Ty Jordan’s passing early this morning, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who loved him dearly, including the young men in our football program. Our priority is on supporting his family and the student-athletes, coaches, and staff in our football program who are so deeply hurting right now. Coach Whittingham and I are working closely to provide support and resources for our Utah Football family in this extremely difficult time.”
Ty Jordan’s death follows his mother’s passing, who lost her battle with stage 4 lung and bone cancer, he announced back in August. She was only 43.
We send our deepest condolences to the Jordan family.
Photo: Chris Gardner / Getty