MOBILE, Ala. (Univ. of South Ala.) - Spanish Fort Police reported that University of South Alabama assistant football coach Kurt Crain was found dead in his Spanish Fort home this afternoon. Further details were not released, but police reported that foul play is not suspected.
"We've lost a great man, coach and mentor at the University of South Alabama," said USA head football coach Joey Jones. "In my opinion, Kurt was one of the best overall coaches I've ever seen. He cared about the players, they respected him greatly, and he was a tremendous football coach and motivator. I think about what a great man and what a great teacher he was for these young men.
"All Kurt would ever talk about was his family and how much he loved his wife and kids. That's the kind of man he was."
Crain, 47, joined the South Alabama staff in July 2008 and worked with the program's inside linebackers in each of the school's first three seasons of competition. Individually, the Jaguars have been led in tackles by one of Crain's inside linebackers each fall, while his efforts helped the USA defense rank in the top 20 nationally at the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision level in both pass defense and total yards allowed per game in 2011.
Crain was an Associated Press All-American at linebacker at Auburn, helping lead the Tigers to a 19-3-2 mark, the 1987 Southeastern Conference championship and a pair of bowl berths as well as a top-10 finish in the of the final AP rankings in each of those seasons. A two-time all-SEC selection, he was voted a team captain his senior season and would go on to record team-leading totals with 168 tackles — still the second-highest figure on the AU season record charts — and five interceptions.
Following his career on the Plains, Crain was drafted by the Houston Oilers; he played two seasons in the NFL, spending time with both the Oilers and the Green Bay Packers. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Auburn in the early 1990s, going on to work at Troy University and Texas Christian University as well before joining the USA staff.
Crain is survived by his wife Susan and three children.
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