Orlando McDaniel, a former multi-sport star for LSU and NFL wide receiver, has passed away from COVID-19. He was 59.
McDaniel began showing systems of the coronavirus after taking a trip to Washington, D.C. to visit family. His death was confirmed by LSU track and field coach Dennis Shaver, per WBRZ.
While at LSU, he excelled as a wide receiver for the Tigers football program, and on the track and field team. For the football program, he caught 64 passes for 1,184 yards and three touchdowns. He had 719 yards in 1981, making him one of the most productive receivers in the SEC.
He wound up having a brief NFL career, playing one year for the Denver Broncos after being a second-round pick in the 1982 NFL Draft. His bigger impact in track. He was an All-American and SEC Champion in the hurdles.
The novel coronavirus has claimed the life of former LSU two-sport standout Orlando McDaniel. He was 59.
McDaniel died Friday night, LSU track coach Dennis Shaver said.
— The Advocate (@theadvocatebr) March 28, 2020
He went on to found the North Texas Cheetah Youth Track Club in 2003, and earned a reputation as one of the top track coaches in the country. Based on the outgoing of support on social media, he’s made a real impression on many lives.
Devastated & heartbroken. Orlando was so much more to kids, & families than just a coach. He was a legend on the track, but his legacy will live on for years to come w the hundreds of lives he touched. I am still in disbelief. We love you @OrlandoMcDaniel . #Praying #NTC 💜 pic.twitter.com/DLUXkyoNfX
— LakeRidgeTrackAndField (@Lake_RidgeTrack) March 28, 2020
Coaches don’t just prepare athletes to compete, they prepare them for life. All of N Texas will feel the loss of Coach McDaniel to COVID-19, but my heart goes out especially to the young women he coached to greatness. Thank you for the lives you touched. https://t.co/1hSm8FUr3W
— Colin Allred (@ColinAllredTX) March 28, 2020
Our thoughts go out to Orlando McDaniel’s friends and family, and everyone else in the LSU and his track and field communities impacted by his untimely passing.