Former Detroit Lions All-Pro linebacker Mike Cofer has died after a long illness. He was 58.
He was taken by the Lions in third round (67th overall) out of Tennessee in the 1983 NFL Draft. He played in 123 games, starting in 104 over 10 seasons with Detroit where he registered 62.5 sacks. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1988 after recovering two fumbles and posting 12 sacks in 16 games.
His son Phil Cofer is a forward on Florida State's basketball team and learned of his father's death after the team's 76-69 victory over Vermont in the NCAA Tournament Thursday.
A Florida State spokesman said the son received the phone call during the open locker-room period and broke down into tears. The senior forward had missed the game with an injured foot.
No cause of death was given. However, a GoFundMe account was started in Mike Cofer's name, which raised $2,820 of $150,000 toward medical expenses incurred after his July 2007 diagnosis for amyloidiosis, which is an incurable disease that simultaneously attacks all major organs.