Underwood: 'It's A Sad, Sad Day' At OSU

Oklahoma State basketball coach Brad Underwood was emotional Friday as he discussed the death of Cowboys player Tyrek Coger, who collapsed following a 40-minute workout inside Boone Pickens Stadium on Thursday afternoon and later died at Stillwater Medical Center.

Head basketball coach Brad Underwood, athletic director Mike Holder and the entire Oklahoma State University family are again mourning a terrible tragedy that has devastated one of the school’s basketball programs.

Underwood and Holder addressed the media on Friday following the death of Cowboys basketball player Tyrek Coger, who collapsed Thursday afternoon after a 40-minute team workout inside Boone Pickens Stadium. Coger was transported to Stillwater Medical Center by ambulance. He was pronounced dead at 6:23 p.m.

“It’s a sad, sad day. We lost a brother,” said Underwood, who was emotional when addressing the media, wiping away tears while speaking. “It’s a tragic day. It’s a sad, sad day. A 21-year-old young man who had his whole world in front of him.

“You say goodbye to players when they graduate and that’s one thing,” said Underwood, who was hired to take over the OSU men’s program in March, “but making that phone call to a mother, there’s no words.”

An autopsy will be performed by the state medical examiner to determine the cause of death, OSU spokesman Gary Shutt said. A investigation by the Stillwater Police also is ongoing, which is required after an unexpected death.

Shutt said that Coger, who had only been on OSU’s campus since July 5 after transferring from Cape Fear Community College in North Carolina, had passed all the standard testing that is required of all athletes before practicing or playing at OSU.

“There’s no worse feeling that getting a call about one of your players that is like this,” said Underwood, who spent the previous three seasons at Stephen F. Austin University before joining OSU.

“He was so excited to be a Cowboy. I dealt with him in individual workouts those two hours a week and his commitment to our team was very significant and he was a very, very popular teammate.”

Coger was a 6-9, 230-pound power forward that was heading to Ole Miss to play but learned earlier in the summer that he wouldn’t be allowed to because of SEC transfer rules. Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy help connect Coger with Underwood and Oklahoma State, and the former junior college player decided to join the program in late June after making a visit to the Stillwater campus.

Sitting beside Underwood during Friday morning’s news conference, Holder tried to make sense of the tragic death.

“Dreams are supposed to begin here (at Oklahoma State University). They’re not supposed to end. Unfortunately in this case, there’s not a happy end to this," Holder said.

“We grieve for the family, his mother and extended family. I grieve for the basketball coaches and all the players. Everybody really doesn’t know what to do about this. We’re all shocked.” 

GoPokes Top Stories