Former Washington tight end Rod Jones, who starred for the Huskies before a brief NFL career, tragically took his life via suicide, his family told The Seattle Times.
According to Jones’ daughter Jamie, her father died on Saturday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound from the day before. He was 54.
Jamie Jones also told the Seattle Times that the family has initiated arrangements with Boston University’s CTE Center to donate her father’s brain for research.
He had recently been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, his daughter said, and his family believes he was suffering from symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). He also had a history of alcohol abuse.
“He’s been dealing with depression for years,” said his daughter, Jamie. “I can’t pinpoint exactly when, but he started to notice some memory loss. He just couldn’t remember things.”
Washington confirmed Jones’ death on Sunday. Jones had been working at his alma mater as an Academic Coordinator for the last 18 years.
Husky Athletics Mourns The Loss of Rod Jones
— Washington Athletics (@UWAthletics) December 9, 2018
Jones was part of the 1984 Washington team that finished No. 2 in the nation and was a captain as a senior in 1986. He then played in nine games over three NFL seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks, catching eight passes for 76 yards and a touchdown.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Jones’ family and friends and the Washington football and athletics community.