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Saint Louis Assistant Basketball Coach Ford Stuen Dies at Age 29

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 12, 2021

A basketball rim and backboard are seen in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game between Maryland and Iowa in College Park, Md., Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Saint Louis University assistant men's basketball coach Ford Stuen died Tuesday at the age of 29.

The Saint Louis athletic department announced the news about Stuen, who was the team's director of player development for three years before being promoted to assistant coach. 

"Words cannot begin to express the pain and sorrow we are all experiencing right now," SLU Director of Athletics Chris May said. "Everyone associated with our program knew Ford as someone who was fully invested in working for the betterment of our student-athletes. His passion, positivity, and amazing outlook on life are things we will all take with us. Our hearts go out to Courtney, Lucy, and Ford's wonderful family. Please keep the Stuen family, as well as Travis Ford and the Ford family, in your thoughts and prayers."

Stuen is survived by his wife, Courtney and stepdaughter Lucy. Courtney Stuen is also due to give birth to their son in August.

The former Oklahoma State basketball player had been hospitalized since early April at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. 

"Late in the Billikens' 2020-2021 season, Stuen complained of pain in his stomach area," per Frank Cusumano and Corey Miller of KSDK"He was diagnosed with an infection and never recovered, even after antibiotics and a medically-induced coma."

Condolences and remembrances poured in following the news of Stuen's death:

Frank Cusumano @Frank_Cusumano

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the @SaintLouisMBB. 29 year old assistant coach Ford Stuen has passed away. He was hospitalized since Easter with an infection. He was a wonderful young man who was rising star in the coaching world. Ford leaves behind a wife and child.

Jeff Goodman @GoodmanHoops

Absolutely awful news. Saint Louis assistant coach Ford Stuen has passed away at the age of 29. Billikens head coach Travis Ford’s nephew. https://t.co/uIgqTTcYPw

Pat Maroon @patmaroon

Saint Louis is such a tight community in the sports world..we lose someone like Ford Stuen with such a bright future we all mourn the loss of someone special..My thoughts and prayers are with @SaintLouisMBB team, Courtney and the Stuen family during this difficult time.

Chris Lowery @CoachLoweryKSU

@CoachTFord5 My sincere condolences to you, your family, staff, & players with the passing of Ford Stuen. He was always great to talk to & always excited about working @SaintLouisMBB RIP Ford

Stuen worked under his uncle, Billikens head coach Travis Ford. He played under Ford when the two were at Oklahoma State from 2012-16. The Cowboys made three NCAA tournament appearances during that time.

Ford and the Cowboys parted ways in 2016, but the coach landed the men's basketball head coaching job at Saint Louis and took Stuen under his coaching wing. The Billikens notably won 23 games apiece during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.

The National Association of Basketball Coaches recently named Stuen to its 2020 Under Armour 30-Under-30 Team, "representing 30 of the most outstanding men’s college basketball coaches under the age of 30."

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