Phil Petty, a former South Carolina star quarterback who led the Gamecocks to two bowl wins during his collegiate career, has died, the university announced Thursday. He was 43.
Petty played for South Carolina from 1999 to 2001. He had battled a brief illness prior to his death, The State reported.
“Phil Petty typified what a Gamecock truly is. 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. My prayers go out to his wife, Morgan, children, Sage and McCoy, and his many friends,” South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner said in a news release.
Petty took over as South Carolina starting quarterback in 2000 — a year after the Lou Holtz-led squad went 0-11. He led the Gamecocks to an 8-4 record in 2000 and a 9-3 record in 2001.
Petty had 5,656 passing yards and 28 touchdown passes in four seasons with the Gamecocks. He spent one season in the NFL as a backup for the Tennessee Titans before moving into coaching.
On Saturday, Petty’s wife wrote an emotional tribute to him on Facebook. Morgan Petty also announced a scholarship fund in the late quarterback’s name, according to The State.
“To honor you and your legacy the kids and I wanted to start the Phil Petty Scholarship foundation. I will make sure that we continue to live and carry on the legacy of Phil Petty,” she wrote in part.