MSU alum, Louisiana assistant D.J. Looney dies after heart attack at team workout

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LAFAYETTE, La. (WJTV) — Former Mississippi State student-athlete and Louisiana at Lafayette offensive line coach D.J. Looney, 31, died Saturday after a heart attack at a team workout.

“Rhonda and I were stunned and saddened to learn of the untimely passing of former Bulldog student athlete D.J. Looney. D.J was a tremendous young man with a limitless future,” said MSU president Mark Keenum. “We had a special relationship with him and eagerly followed his successes. His loved ones and friends will remain in our prayers.”

Looney, 31, was entering his third season on staff with the Ragin’ Cajuns as an assistant offensive line coach. Before his time at Louisiana, Looney served as a tight ends coach at MSU, where he played offensive line from 2007-10. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Bulldogs in 2011. He also served as a graduate assistant at Georgia in 2016, held the position of tackles and tight ends coach at Central Arkansas for two seasons from 2014-15, and was recruiting coordinator at East Mississippi Community College from 2012-13.

“The entire Mississippi State Family is deeply saddened and heartbroken by the loss of one of our very own in D.J. Looney,” MSU AD John Cohen said. “D.J. was an outstanding student-athlete and coach and an even better person. He had such a positive personality, attitude and always a smile on his face. D.J. will be remembered and missed by all who knew and loved him. Our thoughts and prayers are with D.J., his family, his friends, his former teammates, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Mississippi State.”

Looney earned his degree from Mississippi State in arts and sciences in 2010. He served three years as an SEC Student Advisory Council Representative. After serving as vice president of MSU’s Campus Student Advisory Council in 2008, he was elevated to the president’s position the following year. Looney was also a three-year member of the NCAA Football Issues Committee.

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