Cause of Utah running back’s death determined by Texas medical examiner

University of Utah Sports

DENTON, Texas (ABC4) – A Texas medical examiner’s office says that standout University of Utah running back Ty Jordan died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen on Christmas Day.

Police in Denton, Texas, say they responded to a report of a gunshot victim at around 10:45 p.m. on Christmas. The individual, later identified as 19-year-old Jordan, accidentally shot himself in the hip, according to the preliminary investigation.

Officers began administering first aid, but Jordan, who grew up in the Dallas area, later died at a Dallas-area hospital.

According to Denton Police, the gun was accidentally discharged.

While the medical examiner’s office has determined the cause of Jordan’s death, there is no word yet on the manner of his death.

Jordan was recently named the 2020 Pac-12 Offensive Freshman Player of the Year. He had a breakout freshman season, rushing for 597 yards, 6 touchdowns was named 2020 Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year and earned All-Pac-12 second-team honors. Jordan is the first Utah player to earn conference Freshman of the Year honors in 20 years.

Jordan, who accounted for 723 all-purpose yards, took over the starting job in the third game of the season, rushing for 468 yards and 6 touchdowns in his final three games against Oregon State, Colorado, and Washington State.

He finished the season ranking ninth in the FBS, and first among freshmen, in rushing yards per game (119.4) and is 11th in the FBS (first among freshmen) in rushing yards per carry (7.2).

In his final game against the Cougars, Jordan rushed for 154 yards and three touchdowns as Utah erased a 21-point deficit to win, 45-28. He was the first Utah first freshman to have three consecutive 100-yard rushing games since 1995.

Jordan was going to be the featured running back going into next season for the Utes.

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“Words cannot express the devastation and heartache that our team is feeling right now upon learning of the tragic death of our teammate and brother, Ty Jordan. Ty’s personality and smile were infectious and he made a huge impact on our program in the short time he was with us. He leaves an indelible mark on each of us and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.  From the bottom of our hearts, all of us in the Utah Football Family want to say we love you Ty and may you rest in peace.” – Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham

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“We are deeply saddened and shocked to learn of Ty Jordan’s passing early this morning and our thoughts and prayers are with those who loved him dearly, including the young men in our football program. Our priority is on supporting his family and the student-athletes, coaches and staff in our football program who are so deeply hurting right now. Coach Whittingham and I are working closely to provide support and resources for our Utah Football family in this extremely difficult time.” – Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan\

Jordan’s mother, Tiffany, died from a long battle with lung cancer on August 14. Jordan had dedicated this season to her.

On Saturday, the University of Utah lit the “U” above the school as they do after every football victory in honor of Jordan.

U of U friends and rivals took to social media over the weekend to pay tribute and mourn the death of Jordan.

Arizona State University tweeted, “Our thoughts are with the Jordan Family and the Utah program today. Rest in peace, Ty Jordan.”

Rival BYU also left a loving message for Jordan.

Weber State shared the sentiments.

Numerous other universities extended their thoughts and prayers.

No other details are yet available regarding Jordan’s death.

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