In memoriam: Assistant coach Jamal Powell (1981-2021)
Former SMU assistant coach Jamal Powell died Tuesday, the school announced on Wednesday.
"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jamal Powell," SMU said in a tweet. "Our hearts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time."
Powell, hired to help coach the offensive line in 2018, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attack nerves in an effort to ultimately paralyze the body. After rehabilitation and follow-up testing, Powell then found out from doctors that he had developed Stage 4 cancer.
Powell died four days before his 40th birthday.
Several members of the SMU coaching staff and administration extended their condolences in pubilc and via social media. Head coach Sonny Dykes, athletic director Rick Hart, director of recruiting relations and community engagement Scott Nady and former defensive coordinator Kevin Kane, who now is with Illinois, were among those who tweeted thoughts.