South Carolina Football Great Phil Petty Has Died
South Carolina quarterback Phil Petty #14, smiles on the bench against Ohio State in the Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Former University of South Carolina quarterback Phil Petty has died at age 43.

The official Twitter account for the school’s football team announced the loss on Thursday. It’s unclear how Petty, a husband and father of two, passed.

“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of a great Gamecock,” the team posted.

According to The State, Petty was the Gamecocks’ starting quarterback for three seasons, racking up back-to-back Outback Bowl victories against Ohio State in 2001 and 2002. The second championship earned Petty the MVP award, throwing for 227 yards and two TDs in the tight 31-28 win.

Petty just last month reportedly took a position on the Gray Collegiate football staff, serving under head coach Adam Holmes. Petty and Holmes played together at USC and attended each other’s weddings, The State reported.

“He was my brother and a leader of our team,” Holmes told The State. “He led us to the turnaround we had and was a great friend, great dad and husband.” A cause of death was not immediately known.

Condolences poured in on Twitter after the tragic news broke.

“So sorry to hear the news of [Gamecock Football] great Phil Petty passing away,” Head USC Football Coach Shane Beamer said. “Thoughts & prayers to his family.”

“Very sorry to hear of the passing of a great Gamecock and South Carolinian, Phil Petty,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) posted. “My prayers are with his family and friends.”

“It breaks our heart to inform you that former #Gamecocks QB Phil Petty passed away late last night,” The Spurs Up Show wrote. “Petty led the greatest turnaround in CFB, guiding USC to back to back Outback Bowl victories over Ohio State. Our prayers go out to his friends & family. RIP.” 

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