Former Arizona Wildcats linebacker Sterling Lewis, who played for coach Mike Stoops in 2008 and 2009, has died from complications from Valley Fever, his high school coach posted on social media on Wednesday. Lewis was 32.
His former Arizona teammate, current Arizona Cardinals linebacker Brooks Reed, wrote on social media:
"Very saddened to hear the passing of a great UofA teammate of mine Sterling Lewis (Sterlo). Nothing but positive memories of him. Great person, great teammate. He played with passion, straight playmaker, a comedian, and very kind person. RIP buddy"
Lewis made 97 tackles, including nine for loss and three sacks in 23 games for Arizona after transferring from Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. He had an interception, recovered two fumbles and forced one.
In his second game at Arizona, he came off the bench because of injury to Xavier Kelley and had a team-high 12 tackles against Toledo. "We love Sterling," defensive coordinator Mark Stoops said at the time. "We knew all along he was an impact guy capable of doing a lot of good things."
Lewis played at Copperas Cove (Texas) High School.
Jack Welch, the former head coach at Copperas Cove and now an assistant at Texas A&M-Commerce, posted the news on Twitter:
Earlier this month, a gofundme page was started for Lewis and his family -- his wife, Ashley, and their two sons. At that point, Lewis was in a medically induced coma.