Arizona Wildcats offensive lineman Zach Hemmila was found dead in his apartment on Monday morning. He was 22 years old.
"My only thoughts right now are with Zach Hemmila’s family," Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez said after informing the entire team at the end of Monday’s practice. "We lost a great young man."
"I don’t know any of the details," coach continued. "I saw him last night after a meeting. We talked two nights ago just out of the blue. Came down, sat beside me and we talked for about 45 minutes about everything and just how happy he was. He’s a great young man."
"He passed away in his sleep last night," athletic director Greg Byrne clarified. "We were notified this morning. As coach said, he was a great young man, and we’re so deeply saddened. Our deepest thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends, to the team, his teammates, coaches and everybody involved."
A redshirt senior, Hemmila was slated to be Arizona’s starting center this year. He played in 27 games the past two seasons as a backup offensive lineman and on special teams.
In my personal experiences with him, Zach was always such a positive, happy guy, and just enjoyed being out on the football field, and was always willing to stop and say hello after practices.
Our thoughts go out to the Hemmila family, as well as the entire Arizona football family and everyone impacted by this tragedy.