April 01, 2015

ATLANTA (AP) Riccardo Ingram, a longtime minor league coach in the Minnesota Twins organization and a former football and baseball star at Georgia Tech, died at the age of 48 following his second battle with brain cancer.

Georgia Tech said Ingram died on Tuesday night.

Ingram is a member of Georgia Tech's Sports Hall of Fame. He was the first Georgia Tech player to be named the Atlantic Coast Conference's male athlete of the year.

He was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference defensive back in 1986 before leading the Yellow Jackets to the 1987 ACC baseball championship.

He began his long career as a minor league coach following brief stints in the majors with Detroit in 1994 and the Twins in 1995.

Ingram was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and returned to coaching following six weeks of radiation therapy. The cancer returned in 2014.

''It's very sad news,'' Twins general manager Terry Ryan said in a statement. ''He was a good member of this organization for about 17 years. He's been all over the map with us in the minor leagues and was a player. He's one of those guys where it would be very difficult for me to find somebody who had a bad thing to say about Riccardo Ingram.''

Ingram was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and returned to coaching following six weeks of radiation therapy. The cancer returned in 2014.

A moment of silence was held for Ingram before Wednesday's Twins-Red Sox spring training game in Fort Myers, Florida.

Washington Nationals outfielder Denard Span, who began his career in the Twins organization, used his Twitter account to pay tribute to Ingram.

''Just got some sad news. Nobody would know who Denard Span was if it weren't for the help of Ricardo Ingram.. One of the best men in baseball,'' Span said.

Twins manager Paul Molitor said after Wednesday's game ''It's a sad day for me.''

''I've known him for a long time,'' Molitor said. ''We were blessed that we were able to have him for these past five or six years with him after he was diagnosed. It's not easy. I don't know his family very well, but I know about his family. I was thinking about them quite a bit today. He's a husband and a father. And he was around us for 18 years as an instructor.''

Ingram is survived by his wife, Allison, and their two children - Kacey and Kristen. Funeral arrangements are pending.

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