Former Bulldog player, coach, D.J. Looney passes away

Joel Coleman

Former Mississippi State player and assistant coach D.J. Looney, who was serving as an assistant on the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns staff, died on Saturday after suffering a heart attack during a team workout at Cajun Field. Looney was 31 years old.

Looney, a Birmingham, Alabama native, was an offensive lineman for Mississippi State and played for the Bulldogs from 2007 through 2010. When his playing career concluded, he jumped right into the coaching ranks at MSU, serving as an offensive graduate assistant in 2011. 

Looney went on to spend two years as offensive line coach at East Mississippi Community College, then moved on to be the tackles/tight ends coach at Central Arkansas for two seasons. Looney spent a year on the Georgia coaching staff in 2016 before returning to MSU in 2017 as tight ends coach. When head coach Dan Mullen left the Bulldogs following the 2017 season, Looney wasn't retained by the new MSU coaching staff. He landed with the Ragin' Cajuns and was with them up until his tragic death on Saturday.

Mississippi State Director of Athletics John Cohen released this statement on Looney's passing:

"The entire Mississippi State Family is deeply saddened and heartbroken by the loss of one of our very own in D.J. Looney. D.J. was an outstanding student-athlete and coach and an even better person. He had such a positive personality, attitude and always a smile on his face. D.J. will be remembered and missed by all who knew and loved him. Our thoughts and prayers are with D.J., his family, his friends, his former teammates, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Mississippi State."

MSU President Mark Keenum added this:

"(My wife) Rhonda and I were stunned and saddened to learn of the untimely passing of former Bulldog student athlete D.J. Looney. D.J was a tremendous young man with a limitless future. We had a special relationship with him and eagerly followed his successes. His loved ones and friends will remain in our prayers."