David Lewis, Former Bucs LB and Tampa Catholic Coach, Dies at 65

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2020

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker David Lewis (57) stops Eagles running back Wilbert Montgomery during the Buccaneers 24-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1979 NFC Divisional Playoff Game on December 29, 1979 at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  This was the first ever playoff game in the Buccaneers history. (Photo by Hugh Jones/Getty Images)
Hugh Jones/Getty Images

Former NFL linebacker David Lewis died Tuesday at the age of 65, according to Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times.

No cause of death has been announced, but he had previously suffered a heart attack and used a pacemaker, per Knight.

Lewis was in the NFL from 1977 to '83, spending his first five years in the league with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He later became a prep coach, including several years at Tampa Catholic both as a head coach and an assistant.

Lewis was an impact player for the Bucs squad, starting 60 of his 62 games during his first four seasons and earning a Pro Bowl selection in 1980.

He finished his career with the Chargers and Rams before retiring after the 1983 campaign.

The California native stayed with the sport as a coach.

"You had to experience David Lewis, because he really was just a bigger-than-life personality," said former Crusaders coach Bob Henriquez. "Just the way he interfaced with the kids, he had a way of connecting with them."

Others close to him revealed their thoughts on social media:

Mike Gregory @CoachGreg11

The TC family lost one of the best today. Coach Lewis has an amazing heart and helped so many young people become the best versions of themselves. Have so many great memories coaching alongside him, and will forever cherish his friendship. Tampa has lost a legend. RIP Big Lew!! https://t.co/tsbHJQclub

Jeris McIntyre @JerisMcIntyre

Rest in Peace Coach David Lewis! 🙏🏾 https://t.co/Ibz8W8vwT0

Jalen Bussey♠️ @JalenBussey

Bleed Green⚔️💚 RIP Coach Lew❤️ #B.A.M https://t.co/Qp6wjzyQET

Austin White @austinwhite_23

My hearts heavy today hearing the news. Although you’re gone in this world, I still know you’re in a better place watching over all of those who were blessed enough to know you. Prayers up for Coach Lou and his family. Love you forever Coach, Rest In Paradise🕊❤️ @TC_Football https://t.co/eUiqPCaSjE

Lewis was still on the Tampa Catholic staff until his death. He is survived by a wife and daughter.