Florida State forward Phil Cofer made his first statement about his father’s death this week, saying he “will miss him dearly.”
Cofer’s statement is posted on the GoFundMe page he started to raise money for his father’s funeral and lingering medical expenses.
“On Thursday March 21st, moments after my team’s win in the first round of the 2019 NCAA tournament, celebration turned into devastation as I received a phone call that would change my life forever,” Cofer wrote. “My dad, Michael Cofer, had passed due to a battle with a long-term illness. My dad has always supported me on and off the court and I will miss him dearly.”
The elder Cofer, 58, was a former NFL linebacker who played 10 seasons (1983-1992) for the Detroit Lions.
The Detroit Free Press said the cause of death was a rare disease, which it did not name, that affects organs and tissue.
“My family has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and now humbly asks for the community’s help with our existing and continuing expenses,” Phil Cofer continued in the GoFundMe post. “All proceeds from this fundraiser will go toward my Dad’s funeral expenses and my family’s outstanding and ongoing medical costs. My family will contribute any donations that exceed our funeral and medical needs toward a charitable organization.”
As of Saturday afternoon, nearly $31,000 of the campaign’s $100,000 goal had been raised. The NCAA and Florida State’s compliance department gave the go-ahead for the fundraiser.
Phil Cofer did not play Thursday against Vermont because of a right foot injury, but coach Leonard Hamilton said Cofer would be with the team Saturday night when the Seminoles face Murray State at Hartford, Conn.
Injuries limited Cofer, a senior, to 22 games (19 starts) this season. He is averaging 7.4 points and 26.1 minutes per game.
—Field Level Media