Former LSU Football, Track Star Orlando McDaniel Passes Away After Contracting Coronavirus
On Saturday, the COVID-19 pandemic struck close to the LSU family when it was learned former two-sport athlete Orlando McDaniel had passed away at the age of 59.
McDaniel passed away on Friday evening according to LSU track and field coach Dennis Shaver, who said McDaniel fell ill upon returning home from a trip to Washington D.C.
While at LSU, McDaniel had a successful career on the football field and inside the track stadium as well. In his four year career from 1978-81 with the Tigers, McDaniel collected 64 career receptions for 1,184 yards and three touchdowns.
On the track field, McDaniel placed second in the 1980 NCAA 110-meter hurdles and third in 1981. After his collegiate career, McDaniel would go on to be drafted by the Denver Broncos in the second round of the 1982 NFL Draft, appearing in three games for the Broncos before calling it quits.
In his post athletic career, McDaniel's founded the North Texas Cheetahs Youth Track Club in 2003. Shaver said McDaniel became one of the great mentors and coaches for young track athletes around the country.
"He was such a tremendous athlete in both sports, but the love he had for track and field was really special," Shaver said. "We're fortunate that people like him get involved with our youth.
“Orlando was a tireless worker for the youth in his area of (Dallas-Fort Worth),” Shaver said. “His youth North Texas Cheetahs Track Club, year after year, developed many of the great athletes competing for universities throughout the United States.”
Former LSU stars have already started pouring in their condolences to the McDaniel family. Tigers basketball legend Rudy Macklin took to Facebook to offer his thoughts and prayers upon learning of McDaniel's passing.
"This truly breaks my heart,” Macklin wrote on Facebook. “One of our Broussard (Hall) frat brothers is gone. This virus is not like the common flu; it’s 10 times more lethal.”