After the death of Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake, there was an outpouring of love and reflection on the life of the 62-year-old coach and mentor, particularly from those whose professional and personal paths crossed with Drake, who was remembered fondly as a friend and a mentor by fellow coaches and his players.
PRESIDENT ART ROONEY II
“We are at a loss for words following Darryl Drake’s passing this morning. Darryl had such an impact on the players he coached and everyone he worked with throughout his entire career. He was a passionate coach and had a tremendous spirit toward life, his family, his faith and the game of football.
“Our prayers and thoughts are with his wife, Sheila, his three daughters, his grandchildren and entire family during this difficult time.”
HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN
“Darryl was a close friend and had a tremendous impact on my coaching career. He was an amazing husband, father and grandfather, and it is difficult to put into words the grief our entire team is going through right now.
“Darryl loved the game of football and every player he ever coached. We will use our faith to guide us and help his family throughout the difficult time.
“My heart and our prayers are with his wife, Sheila, and Darryl’s entire family.”
FORMER WR DARRIUS HEYWARD-BEY
My heart is heavy. Today Steeler Nation and the football world lost not only a good coach but a great man. RIP coach Drake. Thanks for always standing on the table for me. pic.twitter.com/kyux9O51Gh
— Darrius Heyward-Bey (@theDHB85) August 11, 2019
FORMER LB ARTHUR MOATS
Hate to hear the news about Coach Drake. He was a great man and true leader. He will truly be missed. R.I.P.
— Arthur Moats (@dabody52) August 11, 2019
FORMER OL MARCUS GILBERT
At a loss for words! One of my all time favorite coaches to be around. Rest easy Coach Drake
— Marcus Gilbert (@MarcusGilbert88) August 11, 2019
FORMER PLAYER, COACH TONY DUNGY
Darryl Drake was in our coaches bible study. He was a tremendous coach and an even better man. This is hard to believe and we’re all going to miss him. But it’s proof of what the Bible says—tomorrow is not promised to us. 🙏🏽🙏🏽for his family and his players. https://t.co/KAcu1t4ULr
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) August 11, 2019
Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of Darryl Drake. It is impossible to overstate his impact on the game in nearly four decades as a coach in college and the NFL.
Today, the entire football community mourns his loss.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) August 11, 2019
FORMER S TONY JEFFERSON
Wow RIP to coach drake . Sucha great man! Much love and respect to him & his family 🙏🏾 prayers up . Unbelievable
— Tony Jefferson (@_tonyjefferson) August 11, 2019
Coming in undrafted to AZ coach Drake use to tell me keep working you have a shot I’ll never forget how encouraging and down to earth he was. I got to see him last year against Pittsburgh and he told me he was so proud of me and where I came from thank you Coach! Love big dog pic.twitter.com/F45xDKPI1b
— Tony Jefferson (@_tonyjefferson) August 11, 2019
FORMER WR KELSEY POPE
Coach Drake meant so much to so many. He’ll continue to live through every life that he impacted https://t.co/qocH9OtiOa
— Kelsey Pope (@CoachKelseyPope) August 11, 2019
VP OF MEDIA RELATIONS MARK DALTON
Awful, awful news.
Daryl Drake was Cards receivers coach from 2013-17.
Amazing coach, husband, father, storyteller & all-around awesome person.
So sorry for his family & loved ones. https://t.co/ZkMZPHUOgP
— Mark Dalton (@CardsMarkD) August 11, 2019
Today we mourn the untimely passing of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake. Darryl was the former Bears wide receivers coach under Lovie Smith from 2004-12, including the 2006 Super Bowl appearance.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 11, 2019
FORMER LB LANCE BRIGGS
Shared a lot of genuine laughs with this man over my career. We lost a great one. You are missed Darryl Drake #ripdrake @peanuttillman @BUrlacher54 bobbywadeaz @b_twice @rashieddavis moosemuhammad5 @alexbrown96 https://t.co/7k1FwPIka9
— Lance Briggs (@LanceBriggs) August 11, 2019
FORMER RB THOMAS JONES
— Thomas Q. Jones (@thomasqjones) August 11, 2019
FOMER FB JASON MCKIE
Rest In Heaven Coach Drake! You made the daily grind a joy to be apart of, always there with an open heart to help us in anyway you could on and off the field! The impact you had with every player you touched will last forever!
Heaven Truly Gained an Angel!#RestInHeaven pic.twitter.com/esMXorgz9v
— Jason McKie (@Jmack37) August 11, 2019
FORMER BROADCASTER ZACH ZAIDMAN
Forever indebted to Darryl Drake for always taking the time to help me learn more about football and the men behind the game during my years covering the Bears. He touched so many players during his time at Halas Hall and elsewhere. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family.
— Zach Zaidman (@ZachZaidman) August 11, 2019
FORMER LB BRIAN ORAKPO
Just heard the news of Coach Drake. Unbelievable such good man and a true pioneer for African American coaches that thrived collegiately and professionally. RIP Coach Drake
— Brian Orakpo (@rak98) August 11, 2019
FORMER RB ERIC METCALF
Sorry to hear about the passing of coach Darryl Drake, he was a good man and teacher. I had the opportunity to speak with him on many occasions during his coaching tenure @TexasFootball and enjoyed each time! #RIP
— Eric Metcalf (@EricMetcalf21) August 11, 2019
FORMER LB DERRICK JOHNSON
SR. ASSOC. AD/MEDIA RELAIONS JOHN BIANCO
Very sad news out of Pittsburgh with passing of former @TexasFootball asst. coach Darryl Drake. Just an awesome man who mentored some of the best WRs and helped coach many great Texas teams under Mack Brown from 1998-2003. Thoughts & prayers are with his family. RIP Coach Drake🙏🏻 https://t.co/uNlU6idgvv
— John Bianco (@UT_Bianco) August 11, 2019
HEAD COACH TYSON HELTON
My condolences to the family of Darryl Drake. A Western Kentucky playing and coaching great, may he rest in peace.
— Tyson Helton (@Coach_Helton) August 11, 2019
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS GM JOHN LYNCH
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Drake Family and to Coach Tomlin and the Steeler Family. God Bless and Rest In Peace Coach Drake. https://t.co/BC4xqoqVRN
— John Lynch (@JohnLynch49ers) August 11, 2019