Curtis Bray, the defensive line coach for the Iowa State Cyclones football program, died Wednesday morning while working out. Bray was only 43 and is survived by his wife, Heather, their daughter, Sydney, and son, Colden.
Bray was brought to the Iowa State program by head coach Paul Rhoads four years ago. He has overseen the defensive line crew each of those seasons and was well loved by his other coaches. Curtis Bray had an 18 year coaching career that included a stint at his alma mater, The University of Pittsburgh. He is responsible for recruiting future NFL stars Joe Flacco and Larry Fitzgerald.
Curtis Bray also played the game of football as a linebacker for the Pittsburgh Panthers. He was the 1987 Gatorade National High School Football Player of the Year, becoming the first defensive player to be honored as such. His greatest skill, as noted by head coach Paul Rhoads, was his ability to teach defensive players how to get the most out of their talent.
The Iowa State program had started to rise to prominence in the early 2000’s. But after stumbling towards the end of the decade, the team hired Paul Rhoads. Curtis Bray was part of the rebuilding process. The team struggled in 2013 to a 3-9 record.
DL coach Curtis Bray’s death is the most recent in a eery string of deaths in the Iowa State family. Former Iowa State defensive star Jason Berryman was found dead in his east Texas home just last week. The Iowa State football community responded on twitter.
Curtis Bray collapsed and died this morning while working out. The ISU assistant football coach was 43, with a wife and 2 kids. RIP.
— Trey Scott (@Trey_Scott3) January 15, 2014
Terribly sad news this morning: Iowa State football asst. coach Curtis Bray has passed away at age 43.
— Paul Clark (@cyclonereport) January 15, 2014
This world lost a great man, mentor & father today. ISU assistant coach Curtis Bray passed away at the much too early age of 43 this morning
— Cyclone Recruiting (@CycloneRecruits) January 15, 2014