The University of Georgia is in mourning following the deaths of defensive lineman Devin Willock and staff member Chandler LeCroy. They passed away in a single-car accident early Sunday morning (Jan. 15).
The tragic news came hours after UGA celebrated winning the national championship for the second consecutive year. They celebrated with a parade and ceremony at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia at the university. The junior football player also just announced his plans to enter the NFL draft.
Authorities said LeCroy, a recruiting staff member, was driving the Ford Expedition when it left the road and struck power poles and trees around 2:45 a.m. The 24-year-old and Willock, 20, were transported to a hospital where they died. Two other passengers, a 21-year-old male identified by ESPN as UGA’s Warren McClendon, and a 26-year-old female were also injured. They are said to be in stable condition.
UGA’s head football coach, Kirby Smart, said the organization was heartbroken and devastated by the news. “Devin was an outstanding young man in every way. He was always smiling, was a great teammate, and a joy to coach,” said Smart in a statement. He added, “Chandler was a valuable member of our football staff and brought an incredible attitude and energy every single day. We grieve with their families for this tragic loss and will support them in every way possible.”
The UGA Athletic Association also released a statement that read in part, “We ask that everyone keep their families in your prayers during this very difficult time.” They also plan to provide mental health services to the team and performance personnel. The athletic association ended with, “We can provide no further comment at this time, but ask that everyone continue to keep those involved in your prayers.”
Such a tragic end to what began as a celebratory weekend. View related posts below.
We are heartbroken over the passing of Willock and LeCroy.
Our prayers are with their families during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/BYLH8Xipwa
— Georgia Bulldogs (@UGAAthletics) January 15, 2023
— Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) January 15, 2023