LAFAYETTE, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — The UL Lafayette community is mourning the death of assistant football coach D.J. Looney, who died after collapsing at a team practice Saturday morning.
“The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Department of Athletics mourns the sudden loss of Louisiana Football assistant coach D.J. Looney, who passed away Saturday morning following a heart attack during a team workout at Cajun Field,” the school’s athletic department wrote on Twitter.
Looney, 31, was starting his third season of coaching the team’s offensive line. Notable players under his watch included Robert Hunt and Kevin Dotson, both drafted into the NFL.
The former Mississippi State player began his coaching career in 2011, as a graduate assistant to Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen. He then went to East Mississippi Community College, serving as an offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator, and winning a national championship in the 2013 season. Subsequent stops included Central Arkansas, Georgia, and another stint at Mississippi State, as a tight ends coach.
Gov. John Bel Edwards voiced his condolences on Twitter Saturday.
Jay Walker, the voice of the Rajun’ Cajuns, also tweeted a reaction to Looney’s death.
Robert Hunt, a UL Lafayette alum who now plays for the Miami Dolphins, credited Looney with keeping “a smile on my face.”