AMES, Iowa — Iowa State defensive line coach Curtis Bray died Wednesday, the team said. He was 43.
Cyclones spokesman Mike Green confirmed Bray’s death to The Associated Press, but said no additional details were immediately available.
“Curtis Bray was a dear friend to me and to all he ever came in contact with,” Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. “He was a trusted and loyal assistant coach who always put the kids and the team in front of his work. He was as genuine in his approach to relationships, coaching and life as anyone I have ever been associated with. We will miss him dearly.”
Bray grew up in Monroeville and became the first defensive player to be honored as the Gatorade national player of the year for Gateway High in 1987.
Bray graduated from Pitt in 1992 after a stellar career as a linebacker for the Panthers. He also coached at Duquesne, Western Kentucky and Villanova and later worked with Rhoads at Pittsburgh, where Bray spent seven seasons.
Bray was the linebackers coach when Rhoads was Pitt’s defensive coordinator. Bray followed Rhoads to Ames when he was named Iowa State’s head coach in 2009 after working on the staff at Temple.
Bray spent the past five seasons working at Iowa State and was known for his work with the defensive ends. The Cyclones reached three bowls games during Bray’s time on the staff.
Bray is survived by his wife, Heather, a daughter, Sydney, and a son, Colden Charles.