Phil Cofer’s dad, Mike Cofer, died on March 21, 2019, at the age of 58. Mike had a long battle with amyloidosis, a disease he was diagnosed with in 2007, per The New York Times.
Mike Cofer was diagnosed in 2007 with amyloidosis, a rare disease in which proteins become insoluble and disrupt function of the kidneys and other organs. Florida State officials said they knew the elder Cofer’s condition was deteriorating.
Phil found out about the tragic death of his father after Florida State’s win over Vermont in the NCAA tournament, per ESPN. Cofer will not play against Gonzaga as he mourns the death of his father. WebMD provided the following overview of amyloidosis and the health challenges that come with the disease.
Amyloidosis is when an abnormal protein called amyloid builds up in your tissues and organs. When it does, it affects their shape and how they work. Amyloidosis is a serious health problem that can lead to life-threatening organ failure.
Mike Cofer Is a Former NFL Linebacker for the Detroit Lions
Phil comes from an athletic family as his father was a 10-year NFL linebacker for the Detroit Lions. Mike had 62.5 sacks which is the second-most in franchise history, per NFL.com.
“I was truly blessed to have had the chance to coach Mike,” former Lions head coach Wayne Fontes told NFL.com. “He had such tremendous character. When you heard people talking about a player who always gave 100 percent, it was Mike. He epitomized that type of effort and gave it every time he took the field. Mike was very well-liked and respected by his teammates and certainly by me and our coaches. My prayers and love go out to Mike’s family.”
Phil’s Florida State teammates and coaches have tried to support him as much as possible in the midst of a difficult situation.
“Everybody was in pain, and sometimes even though you don’t want to talk, sometimes it’s best to get those things out,” Hamilton explained to ESPN. “Our kids are so close that when they say 18-strong that’s what they mean, from my walk-ons to the most experienced players. That helped us through the situation, the relationships and the culture we’ve been able to create with each other. People were able to express themselves, and also show Phil the love and the compassion that he felt was genuine.”
Florida State Is Trying to Honor Mike Cofer’s Legacy
The Seminoles are wearing black stripes on the shoulder of their jerseys to honor Phil’s father. Florida State also has an “MC” patch on their shooting shirts. After their win over Murray State, the Seminoles admitted that the tragedy has given the team a little extra motivation.
“I just brought the fight,” Terance Mann noted to ESPN. “What I did was Google and YouTube ‘Mike Cofer’ and just saw how hard he played, how much fight he gave on the field, and I just wanted to bring that with me, and I feel like I did that. I played my heart out for that.”