Skip to main content

A Former Big 10 Football Star Is Dead At 38

A general view of the field before the game between the Oregon Ducks and Michigan State Spartans.

EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 12: A general view of the field before the game between the Oregon Ducks and Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on September 12, 2015 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

A former college football star has passed away at the age of 38.

Mike Labinjo, a former Michigan State football star who had a lengthy career in the Canadian Football League, has passed away.

The former Spartan star's CFL team, the Calgary Stampeders, announced the tragic news.

From the team:

It is with great sadness the Stampeders learn of the death of alumnus Mike Labinjo. He was 38.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of Mike’s death,” said Stampeders president and general manager John Hufnagel. “He was a big man with a big personality to match and he was a key part of our Grey Cup championship team in 2008. The team offers its condolences to Mike’s family and friends.”

A defensive lineman, Labinjo was drafted by Calgary in 2003 and joined the Stamps in 2007 after playing a total of 10 games with the National Football League’s Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts. In 44 games with the Red and White from 2007 to 2010, the Toronto native recorded 61 defensive tackles including nine tackles for loss, seven special-teams tackles, six sacks, seven knockdowns and two fumble recoveries.

An alumnus of Michigan State University, Labinjo was part of the Stamps’ Grey Cup-winning team in 2008 and was a standout in the West final victory over the BC Lions that year, recording three sacks and a forced fumble and making two touchdown-saving stops as part of a critical goal-line stand.

Labinjo was a third round pick in the 2003 CFL Draft.

Our thoughts are with Mike's friends, family and former teammates. May he rest in peace.