Former Kent resident, Kent Roosevelt graduate and Kent State University assistant coach Aaron Alford died on Monday morning of an apparent heart attack. He was 39.
Alford was living in Utah, where he was an assistant football coach at Park City High School, after previously spending time at the University of Utah as the cornerbacks coach.
Alford was a graduate assistant for Kent State in 1998 and also spent time on the football staff at the University of Akron from 2004-06. His brother Tony Alford is currently the running backs coach at Notre Dame.
"He was a GA when I was an assistant coach here at Kent State," said Kent State head football coach Paul Haynes. "My prayers go out to his family. He was a great person, father and husband. He will always be remembered as a member of this Kent State football family."
Alford's father, Robert, was a coach and teacher at Kent Roosevelt for many years.
Survivors include his mother Gloria, and brothers, Robert and Tony. His father, Robert, died previously.
Alford's son, Eli, is a current member of Park City's football program.
"First and foremost he was an advocate for the kids," Park City High School football head coach Mike Shepherd said in Salt Lake City's Desert News. "He was so full of energy. He had an abundance of football knowledge. Players loved him; coaches loved him. It was just a shock that it happened, and it was so devastating to our kids because they loved him as a coach so much. Life is a tough thing to deal with sometimes."