This is such a tragedy. University of Arizona senior offensive lineman Zach Hemmila shockingly died in his sleep on Aug. 8, the school announced. He was only 22 years old.
Zach was found dead by his cousin on Aug. 8, University of Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez and athletic director Greg Byrne told the media, according to The Washington Post. The cause of Zach’s tragic death has not been revealed. Zach’s teammates were told about his death after practice.
“We lost a great young man. Everybody in our program is hurting. I just talked to his dad just a little bit ago. They’ve been down here for the last couple of days. I don’t know any of the details,” Rich said. “Last I saw him was last night after a meeting, we talked. Two nights ago, just out of the blue just came down and sat beside me. Talked for about 45 minutes, just about everything.”
Zach’s death has been a shock to everyone. Greg said that grief counselors would be available “to support the team and coaches and staff and everybody.”
The official Twitter account of the University of Arizona Football team posted a heartfelt message in honor of Zach. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Zach Hemmila,” the team tweeted. “We will miss you. #BearDownZach.”
Zach was getting ready to start his senior year at Arizona. He was studying regional development. Zach joined the University of Arizona Wildcats in 2012. He played 27 games over the last two seasons and started six games at guard in 2015.
This would have been his fifth season with the Wildcats. He was a redshirt senior. The team’s first game of the 2016-2017 season is Sept. 3 against Brigham Young. We’re sure Zach’s coaches and teammates will find a way to honor him over the course of the upcoming season. He will be missed.
HollywoodLifers, send your thoughts and prayers to Zach’s family and friends in the comments below.