Florida State senior Phil Cofer was informed of his father’s death almost immediately after beating Vermont.
ESPN reported the following late Thursday night:
Florida State athletic department spokesman Chuck Walsh says Mike Cofer, a former Pro Bowl linebacker with the NFL’s Detroit Lions, had been suffering from a long illness.
Phil Cofer’s father had suffered from an uncommon disease that affects organs and tissue.
Walsh says Cofer received the phone call notifying him of his father’s death during the open locker room period after the win in the first round of the NCAA tournament and broke down into tears.
What an absolutely tragic and horrific situation. Thursday was supposed to be one of the highlights of Cofer’s career at FSU, and it ended with him finding out his father passed away.
I can’t even imagine what hearing news like that after walking off the court for March Madness must be like. That’s the type of trauma you can’t even speculate about. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)
Luckily for Phil, he was surrounded by his teammates and coaches when he got the news. At the very least, he was close with his brothers on the court, who I’m sure did everything they could to help him.
There are some things that are just too painful to even want to think about. The death of your father is one of them. Having it happen after an incredibly bright and uplifting moment might be as tragic as it gets.
Cofer didn’t play for FSU against Vermont because of ankle injury, and there’s no word at this time if he’ll even be with the team when they take the court against Murray State this Saturday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his entire family during this absolutely awful time.