SMU coach Jamal Powell dies days before 40th birthday

Powell was first an offensive line coach for Southern Methodist University and later an offensive quality control analyst.

Jamal Powell, an assistant football coach at Southern Methodist University, has died at the age of 39, just four days shy of his 40th birthday. 

While his cause of death has not been immediately disclosed, local reports note that Powell had been diagnosed with Guillen-Barre Syndrome and incurable colon cancer. 

Jamal Powell, an assistant football coach at Southern Methodist University, has died just four days before he would’ve turned 40. (YouTube)

SMU Football shared the news of his passing on Twitter Wednesday morning. “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jamal Powell,” they tweeted.” Our hearts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.” 

The post was accompanied a photo with Powell’s dates of birth and death and the hashtags #PonyExpress and #PonyUpDallas, two team monikers. 

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In a GoFundMe organized by the family, it was shared that Powell, his wife, Rachel, and their three children had struggled together as he battled the debilitating symptoms of Guillen-Barre Syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder.

As of early Thursday, the effort had raised just over $97,000 of its $200,000 goal. 

“He would want a celebration of his life, and a link is provided for any pictures or sharing of memories,” the GoFundMe reads. “These imprints he left on our lives will be collected and used to continue his lasting legacy.”

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It has also shared the details of Powell’s memorial service, which will take place on Saturday, April 24 at Armstrong Fieldhouse on the campus of SMU.

Powell was first an offensive line coach and later an offensive quality control analyst. 

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“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,” Sonny Dykes, SMU Football’s head coach, wrote on Twitter Wednesday. “He made everyone he met want to be better. God bless the Powell Family.”

He is survived by his wife, their two daughters, Jaden and Ellison, and their son, William.

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