How the Texas A&M-Texas Tech football rivalry could turn into a football war
By John O’DonnellPublished Aug 21, 2017 3:40AMUpdated Aug 21.2017 3:46AMBy John O. O’DowdAssociated Press writerStaff writerBoomer Esiason, who played in the football program at Texas A & M-Texas State University, was one of three people who died in a helicopter crash near Lake Travis in January 2017.
He had recently left the program, and had not played football since then.
“He was just the type of guy that would give you that smile that you know he was going to be there,” said his cousin, Kevin O’Connor, who knew Esiasion for more than a decade.
“I was just hoping he would go on with his life.”
Esiason, 26, died of multiple gunshot wounds, a spokesman for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office told the Associated Press on Friday.
He was a member of the Texas Longhorns football team.
His death was a “terrible loss” to the entire football program, head coach Mack Brown said.
The Longhorns are one of only five schools in the country with two football-specific fatalities this season.
Texas A&m is ranked No. 1 nationally in scoring defense and No. 6 in scoring offense, but its bowl hopes are also in question.
The Aggies have lost six straight games, and are 0-4 in bowl games since 2010.
Texas A is 0-5 in bowl play in 2017, including a 31-13 loss to Texas Tech in the College Football Playoff championship game.
The loss of Esiasons teammate, Jaelen Strong, to a brain aneurysm in November left a void at the position.
Strong had been a member since 2015 and played in all 13 games for the Aggies.
Strong was killed in a car crash near his home in Lake Travis on Jan. 25.
He died after he was hit by another vehicle, according to his father, J.D. Strong.
He had just left his girlfriend, Amanda Serna, and was on his way to work when he was killed.
He’d been in a coma since the crash.
A few weeks after the crash, Esiases body was found.
He left behind a son, Austin Esiasedan, and two daughters, Arianne and Anissa, the Associated News reported.
Strong had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer that causes blood clots in the blood vessels.
The cause of his death has not been determined.
In January, the Texas Tech football program announced that Esiassons family would receive a $2 million scholarship from the university to help them cover medical expenses related to the death of their son.
The Texas A Tech football team said in a statement that the scholarship would go to “a deserving family member.”
“The Texas Tech family is grateful for the continued support we’ve received throughout this difficult time,” the statement said.
“We know that the entire Aggie family is with them and their families during this time of loss.”
Esaasons family said in the statement that they were “very saddened by this news” and that they would continue to seek out help.