Former University of South Carolina quarterback Phil Petty died Thursday after a brief hospital stay in Columbia. He was 43.
The cause of death has not been released.
Petty was hired in April as an assistant coach at Gray Collegiate Academy in Columbia. He was previously an assistant at the Hammond school and under former USC assistant Skip Holtz at East Carolina.
He played for the Gamecocks from 1998-2001 and started for three seasons, including consecutive Outback Bowl victories over Ohio State in his final two years. As a senior, he was named the bowl’s MVP after throwing for 227 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-28 win over the Buckeyes.
“Phil Petty typified what a Gamecock truly is,” USC athletics director Ray Tanner said in a school release. “A native South Carolinian, he was a fighter on the football field, a tremendous person off the field and beloved by all Gamecocks. He was a great friend to many and a wonderful dad and husband. My prayers go out to his wife, Morgan, children, Sage and McCoy, and his many friends.”
Petty’s first season was the last for coach Brad Scott, who was replaced by Lou Holtz. The Gamecocks went just 1-21 in Petty’s first two seasons before he helped engineer one of the biggest turnarounds in college football history. After going 0-11 in 1999, USC went 8-4 the following season. In his last year, the Gamecocks went 9-3.
He threw for 4,211 yards and 20 touchdowns his final two seasons and 5,656 yards and 28 touchdowns for his career. He’s seventh at the school in career passing yardage and tied for 10th in touchdown passes.
He is survived by his wife and two children.