Former Arizona defensive lineman Chuck Osborne, who ranks 10th in career sacks in the Wildcat program, was reportedly found dead tonight at his San Diego home.
Details of his death are unknown at this time. Family members have posted on Facebook that Osborne, who was to turn 39 on Nov. 3, died in his sleep. Osborne starred for the Wildcats from 1992-95 and was a significant part of the Desert Swarm defense. He registered 21 career sacks, including a team-high 11 in 1994.
One source has told me that Dick Tomey, former UA wide receiver Richard Dice and “25 other guys” have been in contact with Osborne family members tonight.
A throng of former Arizona teammates and supporters have flooded Facebook with comments about Osborne, who tragically lost his wife Heather Osborne in January because of reportedly a health-related matter.
“(My) heart is in pain….missing that smerk smile u gave when we know we bout to put it down. Just miss u Oz… Bear Down 71!!!” former Arizona defensive back Brandon Sanders writes.
“Damn, This is so shocking I’m numb… A great person and friend and you will be sorely missed!! RIP Chuck Osborne!!” adds former Arizona linebacker Donnie Salum, who recently underwent tests for tumors on his skull and spine.
Osborne offered his support to Salum on Facebook, noting that he tried to persevere through a difficult year.
“Hang in there brother!” Osborne wrote. “It has been a tough year for both of us! Just be the trooper that you are and attack this head on! I have been praying for you.”
Former Arizona defensive lineman Julius Holt, who played a decade earlier than Osborne with the Wildcats, posted one of the more gripping comments:
“Damn, he was a good guy. To all my Wildcat brothers on the side athletics, please go to the doctor and get a complete physical and ask your doctor to check you for everything. This young man is gone to soon…. My God is a good God and we need to make sure we have our priorities in place. Hug your children, kiss your wife, tell someone you’re sorry, forgive someone, tell someone you love them and go to church and pray. I plan to do all the above because I need to become a better father, husband and role model. Chuck spread your wings my brother and touch us all tonight. God summons Angels to watch over his disciples and I believe Chuck is one of the chosen children of God. We are all sad tonight and we need send our prayers and thoughts to Chuck’s family. BEAR DOWN!!!!”
Osborne was in the NFL five seasons, mostly with the Raiders. He played 37 games with Oakland from 1996-99 and recorded two sacks.