UL assistant D.J. Looney dies after heart attack during football team workout, school says – The Advocate

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UL offensive line coach D.J. Looney died Saturday morning after suffering a heart attack during a team workout at Cajun Field.

His death was confirmed in a statement released by the university Saturday aftenroon, “At this time, the Department of Athletics asks that fans, friends and acquaintances of Coach Looney keep his family and the football program in their thoughts and prayers.”

This was the 31-year-old Looney’s third season with UL’s program. Under his guidance, the Cajuns had Robert Hunt drafted in the second round this past NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins, while Kevin Dotson was picked in the fourth round by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dotson also was honored as the first AP first-team All-American in the program’s history.

Furthermore, Looney helped O’Cyrus Torrence become a freshman All-American after taking over for Ken Marks at left guard during the season opener against Mississippi State.

In 2018, Looney guided an offensive line that started the same five in all 14 games.

This past year, however, Looney and the offensive line lost one starter for the season before the opener and another one during the season opener. Still, the revamped offensive line helped the Cajuns boast one of the nation’s top rushing attacks in the nation.

The Cajuns ranked third nationally in yards per carry (6.28), fourth nationally in rushing touchdowns (42), sixth nationally in rushing yards per game (257.4) and seven in total rushing yards (3,604).

Prior to joining coach Billy Napier’s staff for the 2018 season, Looney was the tight ends coach at his alma mater Mississippi State. In 2016, he was an offensive graduate assistant coach at Georgia.

Before those stops, Looney had coaching positions at Central Arkansas for two seasons and was the offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at East Mississippi Community College in 2012-13, winning a national championship during that stretch.

Looney graduated from Mississippi State in arts and sciences in 2010.

During his college career in Starkville, Looney served on the SEC Student Advisory Council and was a three-year member of the NCAA Football Issues Committee.

Looney was in his third year with the team, working with the offensive line. He played college football at Mississippi State and graduated from there in 2010.

Looney was born in Chattanooga, Tenn., and prepped at Oak Mountain High School in in Birmingham, Ala.

Before coaching in Lafayette, Looney was a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 201 and, spent two seasons at East Mississippi Community College, two seasons at Central Arkansas, a season at Georgia and another season at his alma mater.

 He played college football at Mississippi State and graduated from there in 2010.

Looney was born in Chattanooga, Tenn., and prepped at Oak Mountain High School in in Birmingham, Ala.

Before coaching in Lafayette, Looney was a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 201 and, spent two seasons at East Mississippi Community College, two seasons at Central Arkansas, a season at Georgia and another season at his alma mater.

Looney’s death is the latest heartbreaking tragedy UL’s athletic department has had to endure over the past two years. Prior to the 2019 softball season, coach Gerry Glasco’s daughter and assistant coach Geri Ann was killed in an auto accident.

In March, two beloved, longtime members of the athletic department died in Leonard Wiltz and Lynn Williams. 

In June, longtime UL bus driver Mastern St. Julien died.

In July of 2019, the department was rocked again with the loss of longtime baseball coach Tony Robichaux to heart disease. 

Later last July, men’s basketball coach Bob Marlin’s older brother died of suicide.

Then just as 2019 was ending, former UL athletic director David Walker died.

This is a developing story. More details to come.

Follow Kyle Whitfield on Twitter, @kyle_whitfield.​

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