The extended Navy football family is mourning the unexpected loss of one of its own.
The service academy announced in a release overnight that Navy football player David Forney (pictured, No. 68) died Thursday night after being found unresponsive in his dorm room. The 22-year-old offensive lineman was found by a fellow Midshipman.
No cause of death has been determined.
“Words cannot express our pain and sorrow,” said Navy football head coach Ken Niumatalolo in a statement. “First and foremost, our deepest condolences to the Forney family. The Navy Football Brotherhood is not a team, we are a family. We are devastated to have lost one of our brothers. We all loved – and will always love – David. We pray for strength during this most difficult time.”
“There is no tighter bond or commitment to each other than found within the Navy football family. To lose a brother is devastating to these young men who grow closer every minute during their four years at the Academy,” said Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk. “We are a community that is in emotional pain today. Our deepest condolences to his immediate family and all of his friends. David’s memory and the influence he had on everyone he touched will live on and remain an inspiration forever within the annals of Navy football and the Brigade of Midshipmen.”
This past season, Forney started all 13 games at guard for a Navy football team that tied a school record with 11 wins, including a Liberty Bowl triumph over Kansas State. The Maryland native earned first-team All-AAC honors.
“I’m at a loss for words, it’s hard to believe that we’ve lost David Forney,” said Navy offensive line coach Ashley Ingram, who was Forney’s position coach for four years. “He was an all-time great Navy offensive lineman, but he was so much more than that. He was the heartbeat behind this season’s record-breaking offense. He loved football, his teammates and the Naval Academy. He will be sorely missed, but his legacy will live on. My love and prayers go out to his family and The Brotherhood. RIP #68.”
“It’s with a heavy heart that I say a few words about one of my best friends, David Forney. He was the guy I had the blessing and honor to play next to these past few years,” said starting center Ford Higgins, one of four Navy captains. “During our time on the football field there was a special and unique kinship that was forged through our time in the trenches together. There are uncountable instances where I felt like Dave and I worked together as one mind. He was such a great guy and even better friend. He was universally loved on and off the field by teammates and classmates. The Forney family will be in our thoughts and prayers. I loved him dearly and I will miss him forever.”
Forney is survived by his parents, Rick and Erika Forney, younger brothers, Chris and Erik, and sister, Rebekah. According to the academy, Forney, who was a member of the 9th Company and a political science major, would have graduated on May 22 and had been assigned to commission as a cryptologic warfare officer.
Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to all of those impacted by Forney’s passing.