"He was so much a part of who we are as a program and school," Furman Paladins football coach Clay Hendrix said in a statement
Furman University is mourning the loss of student athlete Bryce Stanfield, who died on Friday after collapsing during a team workout on Wednesday morning. He was 21.
Dr. Elizabeth Davis, president of the Greenville, S.C.-based school, confirmed the football player's death in a letter to the Furman community on Friday.
"It is with great sorrow that I write to inform you that Furman University student Bryce Stanfield passed away this afternoon surrounded by his family and his Furman family," Davis wrote.
"Bryce, a junior health sciences major from Acworth, Georgia, was a defensive tackle on the Paladins Football team," she continued. "According to medical personnel, Bryce collapsed unexpectedly at a morning workout on Wednesday. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was placed on life support."
Football coach Clay Hendrix said in a news release that the team is "heartbroken beyond measure" by the loss of Stanfield.
"Bryce was an outstanding young man and an equally fine student, football player, and friend," he said. "He was so much a part of who we are as a program and school, and was pivotal in our success on the football field and through giving of his time in outreach to our community. In every sense he was the best representative we could have."
Hendrix added, "His passing is one of the most difficult things Furman football has ever encountered, but our faith and so many wonderful memories Bryce provided us will help sustain us all in the days ahead."
In a touching tribute, Jason Donnelly, Furman's VP of Intercollegiate Athletics, called Stanfield "a beautiful soul, a loving son, loyal friend, tremendous teammate and great student."
"Bryce will be dearly missed but will be remembered in our hearts forever," Donnelly added in the release.
According to Davis' letter, Stanfield had aspirations of going to dental school after graduation. He also enjoyed connecting with local youth by serving in Furman's Heller Service Corps Men of Distinction, reading to children in local schools and visiting pediatric patients at the Greenville Children's Hospital.
A three-year letterman for the Paladins, Stanfield played in all 13 of the team's games this past season, racking up 13 tackles, including four tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He helped the team to a 10-3 record and the 2023 Southern Conference championship title.
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On Friday morning, Davis conferred Stanfield's Bachelor of Science degree in health sciences, magna cum laude, during a private ceremony attended by the late student's family, football teammates and coaches.
Furman said plans for a memorial service will be announced at a later date.
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