The Colorado sports community experienced a difficult loss Tuesday.
Colorado Rockies President and former CSU Rams All-American tight end Keli McGregor was found dead in his Salt Lake City hotel room early Tuesday morning.
Associates of McGregor found the 48-year-old unconscious in his room at the Grand America Hotel early in the morning after failing to reach him by phone. Emergency workers arrived to the scene soon after, but were unable to revive McGregor.
Details surrounding the former NFL playerâ€™s sudden passing are unknown at the moment, but authorities suspect he died from by natural causes.
Charlie Monfort, chairman and CEO of the Rockies, said via press statement McGregorâ€™s death is difficult to handle.
â€œWords cannot describe the level of shock and disbelief that we all are feeling this morning at the loss of Keli,â€ he said. â€œOur thoughts, our prayers are with Lori (McGregorâ€™s wife) and the entire family as we all try to cope and understand how such a tragic loss could occur with such a wonderful man.â€
McGregorâ€™s untimely death hit close to many in Fort Collins including CSU President Tony Frank, who said we was saddened by the news.
â€œThis is an enormous and tragic loss for CSU and all of Colorado,â€ Frank said in a press release Tuesday. â€œKeli was a true champion in life and on the field, who exemplified what weâ€™d want for all our graduates â€“â€“ an honorable and successful business leader, dedicated family man and loyal alumnus who was unwavering in his support for CSU and our students.
â€œThe McGregors are an important part of our CSU family, and our hearts are with them and his Rockies colleagues at this difficult time.â€
McGregor first came to CSU as a walk-on in 1981 and proceeded to have a remarkable career for the Rams. During his four seasons in a CSU uniform, McGregor earned All-American honors once, All-WAC honors three times and caught 153 career passes, the fifth most in school history.
After his college career, McGregor moved on to the pros as a fourth round selection by the Denver Broncos in the 1985 NFL draft. After his time in the NFL, the Lakewood High School graduate took a position in sports administration with the University of Florida and later the University of Arkansas. McGregor joined the Rockies staff in 1993.
Current Rams head football coach Steve Fairchild never played on the same field with McGregor, but said he knew him in other ways, including spending time together at a Rockies game.
Fairchild said McGregorâ€™s death will affect a lot of people.
â€œThis is going to touch Keliâ€™s family and the Rockies, but this is also going to touch a lot of people over a lot of generations at Colorado State,â€ he said after practice Tuesday afternoon. â€œItâ€™s a very, very, very sad day.â€
Assistant Sports Editor Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at email@example.com.