Sad news to share from Cookeville, Tenn., as Tennessee Tech has announced 28-year-old assistant coach Gerald Howse has died.

Howse was in his first year with the program after serving previously as an assistant at Northwestern State. Howse also had coaching experience at Oklahoma Baptist and Northeast Oklahoma A&M College.

No cause of death has been reported at this time.

Tennessee Tech head coach Dewayne Alexander offered this statement following the tragic news, according to NewsChannel 5 of Nashville:

“Gerald was a first-class young man. He was highly thought of by so many people. His coaches at Siegel High School – Greg Wyatt and David Watson – always brought him up whenever we had positions come open.”

“He displayed a very positive attitude. He was a man of character who lived out faith, family and football. He was so close to his family – his mom, dad and sister – that it was one of the biggest reasons he came here to Tennessee Tech: coach in the area, be back in Middle Tennessee and be close to his family.”

“He was an outstanding coach and a man every coach would want on his staff. Gerald made a huge impact on our players in the short time he was here. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, as well as the Tennessee Tech football family. Anytime you lose a staff member, it affects a lot of people.”

Tennessee Tech Director of Athletics Mark Wilson also added a statement:

“Our hearts and prayers are with Gerald’s family and friends. He was a dynamic, young assistant coach who quickly became a Golden Eagle and embodied all you want as a leader of young men. We will miss him deeply.”