The extended UMass football family is mourning the loss of one of its own.
The football program announced Tuesday the passing of longtime staffer and assistant coach Paul Gorham this past weekend at the age of 57. Earlier this decade, Gorham was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a respiratory disease, that “ultimately required him to undergo a double lung transplant and double leg amputation,” the school’s release stated.
Gorham was an assistant coach for the Minutemen from 1999-2003 before taking over as the head coach at Sacred Heart. The health issue that ultimately claimed his life forced Gorham to retire from coaching after eight seasons at Sacred Heart.
He subsequently returned to UMass as the football team’s Director of Operations.
“Paul was an unbelievable person and a true friend that was as trustworthy and genuine as anyone I have ever known,” UMass head football coach Mark Whipple, who also coached on staffs with Gorham at New Haven (1988-93) and Brown (1994-98), said in a statement. “He was a phenomenal coach and a great recruiter, and I was blessed to be able to work alongside him for two decades.
“So much of the success I’ve had throughout my career is because of who he was as a friend and a coach.”
The school added in its release that “[i]nformation regarding services for Gorham will be shared on the UMass football Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages (@UMassFootball) if it is made publicly available by the Gorham family.”