Coaches and former players react to death of Philip Lutzenkirchen
Lutzenkirchen with Harris after his announcement that he will play at Auburn (Source WSFA 12 News)
AUBURN, AL (WSFA) -
After the news that former Auburn Tiger star tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen died in a car accident on Sunday, family, coaches and former teammates took to social media to pay their respects.
My brother is invincible.Not only my hero but my best friend.Thanks for all the prayers and support to our family.- Philip's sister Abby Lutzenkirchen.
The Auburn Family is broken today with the loss of a great Auburn man and friend Phillip Lutzenkirchen. Crushed and without words.- Auburn Offensive Coordinator Rhett Lashlee.
wow.. last time I saw u I was able to hug u and tell u I love u.. I will make that moment last forever ...RIP I love u lutz.- Former Auburn player Dee Ford.
RIP LUTZ my brother you will forever be remembered as a great brother and teammate sad to see you go so soon you will forever be loved.- Former Auburn Player Greg Robinson.
Hearts are Heavy with the loss of Philip Lutzenkirchen ! Please keep his family in your thoughts & Prayer!- Auburn head basketball coach Bruce Pearl.
Lutzenkirchen was a coach at St. James High School in Montgomery where he coached future Auburn Tiger Jalen Harris. Harris took to Twitter to say:
I swear nobody can feel my pain right now. I loved this man so much, he was one of the best things that ever happened to me. RIP Coach Lutz
Even members of the Alabama program paid their respects to the former Tiger star.
He was one of the best guys I've ever had the honor of playing against. I know it's hard right now to understand but God has a plan & needed a great angel to help his kingdom. He will forever be missed but never forgotten. If y'all ever need anything please let me know. God Bless.- Former Alabama star quarterback A.J. McCarron.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and teammates of Philip Lutzenkirchen.- The University of Alabama Football account.
Gus Malzahn released a statement on Sunday saying:
"I'm deeply saddened by the untimely passing of Philip Lutzenkirchen. He was a great young man who touched the lives of everyone he knew in a positive way. On the field, Philip was a great player and competitor, but more importantly, he was a great teammate and friend off the field. My thoughts and prayers are with Philip's parents, Mike and Mary, and all of his family and friends who are grieving his passing. This is a sad day for the entire Auburn family. I find peace knowing that even though Philip was taken from us too soon, that he lived his life to the fullest, leaving a lifetime of great memories for his family and friends to cherish forever."
Jay Jacobs also released a statement saying:
"Philip's death is a devastating tragedy for his family, the Auburn family and his countless friends. Today is also a profoundly sad day for the Auburn Athletics family, who loved and respected Philip not only as a great player but more importantly as a friend and the epitome of an Auburn man. I came to know Philip well and I admired everything about who he was and the way he lived his life. He had a strong faith, a big heart and a burning desire to help others. Philip was a bright light this world desperately needed, and his death leaves a void that can't possibly be filled. My prayers, my thoughts and my heart go out to his wonderful parents, Mike and Mary, their entire family and his many grieving friends."
Former Auburn head coach Gene Chizik had this to say about Lutzenkirchen:
"Philip Lutzenkirchen was what every parent aspires their son to be. He was compassionate, determined, honorable and full of love, integrity and respect. In 27 years of coaching, I have come across what I would consider to be a few ‘rare' young men. Phillip was certainly one of those ‘rare' ones. He truly lived his life for other people and always found time to give to others. His family values taught him to be a great friend and teammate of everyone he came in contact with. My deepest sympathy is extended to his parents Mike and Mary, his sisters, and all of his extended family. We should all begin by honoring his life because he lived a life worthy of that. In his 23 short years, he has certainly left an impactful legacy to everyone he touched. I will miss him deeply."
General Manager Les Snead of the St. Louis Rams had this to say:
"I'm saddened to learn of the passing of Philip Lutzenkirchen. During his brief time with the Rams, Philip was a consummate pro. On behalf of the St. Louis Rams organization, we would like to send our condolences to his family. As an Auburn alum myself and with Coach Fisher's ties to the university through his son Trent and daughter Tara, we join the Tigers in grieving this tragic loss."
Lutzenkirchen was signed by the Rams as a rookie but was released in August 2013.
The accident also claimed the life of Georgia resident Joseph Ian Davis, 22, who was the driver of the vehicle.
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