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Longtime College Football Assistant Coach Dies At 57

A general view of Vanderbilt's football field.

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 17: A general view of the game between the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Ole Miss Rebels at Vanderbilt Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Osia Lewis, a longtime college football assistant coach who has spent the last four years at Vanderbilt, has passed away.

Vanderbilt announced the news that their senior defensive analyst passed away this morning. Lewis had been battling liver cancer since 2017. He was 57 years old.

Lewis was hired by the Commodores under head coach Derek Mason in 2016, initially as a linebackers coach before transitioning to an analyst's role. It was the latest stop in a career that has spanned over 30 years, starting in 1989.

Mason offered his condolences to Lewis' family in an official statement. He called Lewis "a fox-hole teacher who made you better just being around him."


“Osia Lewis was a special man,” head coach Derek Mason said. “His wisdom, love, honesty, truth and faith-based views truly set him apart. He was a fox-hole teacher who made you better just being around him.”

Lewis played linebacker, quarterback, safety and wide receiver at Oregon State from 1982 to 1985. After a brief professional career, he got his master's degree in education in 1989. From there, Lewis' coaching career kicked off.

He spent two years as an assistant at Western Oregon State in Division II before returning to his alma mater as the linebackers and special teams coach in 1991.

From there, he continued his ascent through the national coaching ranks, working for Illinois, New Mexico, UTEP, San Diego State and the UFL's Hartford Colonials.

Our hearts go out to Coach Lewis' family and loved ones.