After a brief hospital stay in Columbia, former University of South Carolina quarterback Phil Petty passed away on Thursday. He was 43. The cause of death is yet unknown.
Petty joined Gray Collegiate Academy in Columbia as an assistant coach in April. Prior to that, he worked as an assistant at the Hammond School and at East Carolina for former USC coach Skip Holtz.
From 1998 to 2001, he was a member of the Gamecocks and started three seasons, helping them to victories over Ohio State in back-to-back Outback Bowls in his final two seasons. After tossing for 227 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-28 victory over the Buckeyes as a senior, he was named the bowl’s MVP.
Ray Tanner, the athletic director at South Carolina, said in a statement on Thursday that Phil Petty “typified what a Gamecock truly is.” “A native of South Carolina, he was a fierce competitor on the football field as well as a wonderful guy who was adored by all Gamecocks.
He was a devoted father, husband, and friend to many. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Morgan, his kids Sage and McCoy, and all of his friends. After a brief illness, Petty passed away. As of Thursday afternoon, the details of the funeral were unknown.
Brad Scott, the Gamecocks’ then-head coach, persuaded Petty to join the team. He was a standout at Boiling Springs High School in the Upstate and the state’s 1996 Shrine Bowl team’s offensive MVP.
He redshirted at USC in 1997, then assisted Anthony Wright in 1998 as the starting quarterback before taking over in 1999, 2000, and 2001. Before the 1999 season, Lou Holtz was named South Carolina’s head coach.
“I’m very upset and unhappy about this. One of my favorite guys there, according to Scott, Scott told The State. “He was unique. I believed he possessed all of these intangibles and was a passionate gamer. He was really competitive and was always studying it.
He had great timing, great pocket presence, all the things great quarterbacks had. I thought he would be a special player and turned out to be that.”