Former USC Trojans linebacker David Lewis has passed away at the age of 65. Lewis played for the Trojans in the 70’s but was noted for his Pro Bowl selection and multiple years as a high school football coach in the greater Tampa Bay area.
According to a report from the Tampa Bay Times, Lewis was still the acting head coach of Tampa Catholic High School. The report also noted that Lewis had previous health issues including a heart attack and an implanted pacemaker, but no immediate cause of death is known at this time.
His former teammates, coaches and colleagues each took to social media to praise Lewis following the unfortunate news.
Former Tampa Catholic coach Bob Henriquez said “you had to experience David Lewis because he really was just a bigger-than-life personality.”
Current Tampa Catholic coach Jeris McIntyre said “he was more than humble; very, very humble. Didn’t talk much about himself, but he always let us know that ‘hey, I’ve been there, done that,’ but he wasn’t gonna boast about himself.”
Lewis was a second-round pick in the 1977 NFL Draft and was on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster that turned the franchise around from winless in 1976 to the NFC Championship Game in 1979. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 1980 before being traded to the Chicago Bears in 1982.
Lewis spent two years with the Bears and then transitioned into coaching, where he spent the majority of his time at Tampa Catholic.
With USC, Lewis was an All-Pac-8 Conference Selection in 1976.
He is survived by his wife and daughter and predeceased by a son.
Rest in peace, coach Lewis. Fight On Forever!