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Ronnie Hillman Dies of Cancer at Age 31; RB Won Super Bowl 50 with Broncos

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 22, 2022

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 01:  Ronnie Hillman #23 of the Denber Broncos runs the ball against the Green Bay Packers in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 1, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos won 29-10.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Former Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman died Wednesday at the age of 31, his family announced in an Instagram post.

Nick Kosmider @NickKosmider

The family of former Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman announced in an Instagram post to Hillman's account that the 31-year-old passed away Wednesday after battling a rare form of cancer. Hillman was a member of the Broncos' Super Bowl 50 championship team. Terribly sad news. <a href="https://t.co/e78BvwllXd">pic.twitter.com/e78BvwllXd</a>

Hillman was diagnosed with Renal Medullary Carcinoma in August, a rare form of cancer.

The 2012 third-round draft pick spent four years with the Broncos, although he is best known for his breakout 2015 season when he led the team with 863 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. He helped the squad win Super Bowl 50 at the end of that season, which remains the franchise's most recent playoff game.

Hillman spent the following year with the Minnesota Vikings and San Diego Chargers but couldn't replicate his success and was out of the NFL by 2017.

In five NFL seasons, the running back totaled 1,976 rushing yards, 524 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.

The Long Beach, California, native was also a standout for San Diego State, totaling 3,243 rushing yards and 36 touchdowns in just two seasons. His 1,711 rushing yards in 2011 ranked third in the country.

"Our deepest condolences go out to Ronnie's family," Aztecs coach Brady Hoke said in a statement, per Kirk Kenney of the San Diego Union-Tribune. "Although I only got to coach him one season (2010), I'll remember him as a great teammate and hard worker. Ronnie always came to practice with a smile on this face and his passion for the game was contagious. He'll always be an Aztec for Life."