On Friday morning, the college football world received some sad news when a former player passed away.
Former Stanford football and baseball player Zach Hoffpauir passed away Thursday morning, the school confirmed in a statement. He was just 26 years old.
Hoffpauir had just landed a coaching job with at Northern Colorado where he was expected to act as a top recruiter for head coach Ed McCaffrey. Hoffpauir’s father, Doug, mentioned the great relationship he shared with the McCaffrey family, including Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey.
They played at Stanford together for several years. Not long after news of Zach’s passing, the Panthers running back released a lengthy post remembering their friendship.
“Yesterday Heaven gained an angel, and I lost one of my best friends in the world,” McCaffrey said in the post. “Zach showed me the way when I got to college. He did things the right way. He taught me how to enjoy life.”
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Yesterday Heaven gained an angel, and I lost one of my best friends in the world. Zach showed me the way when I got to college. He did things the right way. He taught me how to enjoy life. He taught me how to not give a fuck about what people think about me, and to do it my way. He never lost an argument, or a dance battle, and he said what he meant and meant what he said. I never doubted for a second whether or not he had my back. He was a true friend and a great brother to anyone he knew. He was a walking example of how to care for people, a rare soul. We always talked about living simply when we got older: Hunting, fishing, riding bulls, RVing across the country with @beaukitson (One day we’ll do that). We talked about the little things in life and how to never take for granted a loved one. I’ll cherish all the memories we had bro. I love you and your family and I promise we’ll make you proud. Watch over us. Hug your loved ones extra today. 🙏🏼
“I’ll cherish all the memories we had bro. I love you and your family and I promise we’ll make you proud. Watch over us. Hug your loved ones extra today,” McCaffrey said.
Hoffpauir was a standout safety who made All-Pac-12 honorable mention after a strong season in 2014.
He left Stanford in 2015 after being taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 22nd round of the MLB draft. After a year at the Single-A level, he eventually returned to Stanford.
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