Earlier today, the sad news broke that former Utah assistant football coach Aaron Alford died of an apparent heart attack today at the age of 39.
That sadness has stretched all the way to South Bend, and leaves the immediate future of a Notre Dame assistant coach very much up in the air.
According to the South Bend Tribune as well as the Chicago Tribune, Irish assistant Tony Alford has been excused from the team and his football responsibilities as he deals with the grief over the passing of his brother Aaron. Eric Hansen wrote in a tweet that the football program is “uncertain about his return at this stage.”
Tony Alford serves as ND’s running backs coach and slot receivers coach, as well as the program’s recruiting coordinator. He’s been with the program since 2009 and was a holdover from Charlie Weis‘ staff.
Aaron Alford was an assistant at Utah from 2007-10 before moving out of football to become the executive director of the New Beginnings Behavioral Treatment Agency. He was also an assistant football coach and was recently named as the athletic director at Park City High School. He suffered what was reportedly a heart attack at the school.
“We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Aaron Alford,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement. “He was a valued member of our staff during his time here at Utah and he will be missed by all. Our sympathy and prayers go out to his family.”
Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to Tony Alford on the way-too-soon loss of his brother.
(Photo credit: Notre Dame athletics)