SMU Assistant Football Coach Jamal Powell Dies at Age 39

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 7, 2021

An SMU football helmet sits on the sideline before an NCAA football game against Tulsa, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
AP Photo/Jim Cowsert

SMU assistant football coach Jamal Powell died Tuesday after being diagnosed with incurable cancer and Guillen-Barre Syndrome, per Frank Heinz of NBC DFW.

Powell died four days before his 40th birthday.

The school confirmed the news Wednesday:

SMU FootbaII @SMU_Football

We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jamal Powell.<br><br>Our hearts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.#PonyExpress #PonyUpDallas pic.twitter.com/lg9Hp3Axpp

"It’s hard to put into words how heartbroken our family is, but we are so thankful such a remarkable and unique man came into our life," head coach Sonny Dykes said in a statement. "He made everyone he met want to be better. God bless the Powell Family."

Powell spent the past three years at SMU, beginning as an offensive line coach in 2018 before becoming an offensive quality control analyst.

He had also spent time on the coaching staffs at Lamar, James Madison, West Virginia State, Centre College and Southwest Baptist University after starting as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M.

As a player, Powell was a first-team All-Conference USA selection at TCU and spent limited time in the NFL before playing in the Canadian Football League.

Powell first announced his diagnosis of Stage 4 cancer in August 2020.