FSU player Phil Cofer is told after game that his father, ex-NFL linebacker, passed away

Just moments after Florida State University hmmm defeated the University of Vermont in the NCAA tournament on Thursday, FSU player Phil Cofer learned that his father, former Detroit Lions linebacker Mike Cofer, had died.

Florida State University said Cofer, a forward, received a phone call from his family following the game telling him that his father passed away. ESPN reported that the FSU senior broke down in the locker room after he was notified and did not discuss his father’s death with the media.

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Team spokesman Chuck Walsh said the former Pro Bowl linebacker had been suffering from a long illness. He was 58 years old.

Cofer missed the game with an injured right foot and was wearing a protective boot on the bench. The 6-foot-8 forward has averaged 7.4 points and 3.5 rebounds. The school did not say if Cofer was going to attend the second-round game against Murray State, which is slated for Saturday.

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Mike Cofer played 10 seasons with the Lions from 1983 to 1992. He was drafted out of Tennessee.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.