Super Bowl Champion Mitch Petrus Dies of Heat Stroke at 32

Mitch Petrus, a former offensive lineman with the New York Giants, died Thursday of apparent heat stroke. He was 32.

#NYGiants statement on the passing of Mitch Petrus: “We are saddened to hear of Mitch’s passing. Our thoughts go out to Mitch’s family and friends.”

— New York Giants (@Giants) July 19, 2019

According to Pulaski County Coroner Gerone Hobbs, Petrus had been working outside all day at his family shop in Lonoke, Arkansas, and likely succumbed to the heat.

Arkansas, like much of the U.S., is in the midst of a massive heatwave: The heat index yesterday in Little Rock made it feel like it was than 100 degrees outside, according to the National Weather Service.

Petrus had begun playing football at Carlisle High School and later joined the University of Arizona football team as a walk-on fullback, switching later to offensive guard. There he played alongside future Razorbacks Felix Jones and Darren McFadden and was named to the All-SEC second team.

After graduating with a degree in agricultural economics, Petrus was drafted by the Giants in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

The following year, the Giants finished made the playoffs and beat the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl XLVI.

mitch petrus
In this handout image provided by the NFL, Mitch Petrus of the New York Giants poses for his NFL headshot circa 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. NFL/ Getty Images

In November 2012, Petrus was released by the Giants and signed by the Patriots, staying on the team for just two games before being picked up by the Tennessee Titans. After his stint with the Titans ended on March 12, 2013, Petrus left the NFL after playing 23 career games.

Besides his shop, Petrus played bass guitarist in a band called Vikings of the North Atlantic.He also worked as an in-studio analyst and sidelines reporter for televised high school football games.

During the Arizona state legislature's 2018 session, Petrus worked as Republican state Sen. Jonathan Dismang's chief of staff. On Friday, Dismang said "With his energy and how positive he was, he was just a perfect fit for that session."

On Twitter, the Razorbacks mourned Petrus' death, calling him "an outstanding competitor, incredible teammate and a true Hog. He will be greatly missed by many."

Arizona athletics director Hunter Yurachek said the "Razorback Family has suffered a loss of one of its own ... I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to his family, his teammates and all who were blessed to be a part of his life in some way."