Former South Carolina quarterback Phil Petty has died, the school said Thursday. He was 43.
The cause of death wasn’t revealed. Petty reportedly fell ill earlier this week.
Petty ranks seventh in Gamecocks history with 5,652 passing yards and is tied for ninth with 28 passing touchdowns. Petty also ranks sixth in school history with 454 pass completions.
Petty was at South Carolina from 1997 to 2001. He redshirted his first season and was the backup in 1998 before becoming the starter during the 1999 campaign, the school’s first under Lou Holtz.
The Gamecocks were a combined 1-21 during 1998-99 before Petty helped engineer a stunning turnaround. He guided South Carolina to a 17-7 record over the next two seasons, leading the Gamecocks past Ohio State in the Outback Bowl in both campaigns. He passed for a career-best 2,285 yards in 2000 and tossed a personal-best 12 touchdown passes in 2001.
“Phil Petty typified what a Gamecock truly is,” South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner said in a news release. “A native South Carolinian, he was a fighter on the football field, a tremendous person off the field and beloved by all Gamecocks. He was a great friend to many and a wonderful dad and husband.”
Current South Carolina coach Shane Beamer paid tribute to Petty on his Twitter account.
“So sorry to hear the news of @GamecockFB great Phil Petty passing away. Thoughts & prayers to his family.”
So sorry to hear the news of @GamecockFB great Phil Petty passing away
Thoughts & prayers to his family ??
— Shane Beamer (@CoachSBeamer) July 21, 2022
After his college career ended, Petty signed as an undrafted free agent with the Tennessee Titans. He was released and went into coaching.
–Field Level Media