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UA football player dies in sleep

Posted at 10:15 AM, Aug 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-09 01:22:13-04

University of Arizona football player Zach Hemmila died in his sleep Sunday night, coach Rich Rodriguez announced to the team Monday.

Hemmila, a senior who hailed from Chandler, was competing for a starting position on the offensive line. The team did not practice Sunday.

"As Coach said, he was a great young man, and we're just so deeply saddened," UA athletic director Greg Byrne said. "Our deepest thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends and teammates and the coaches."

Zach went to high school at Chandler High School and visited his alma mater frequently.

His high school coach Shaun Aguano said, "Zach was a very quirky kid, always pulling jokes and always smiling. He was lazy at times so I would get on him, but that was all in fun. Just celebrating that and those memories helped me make it through the day."

The team opens up the season Sept. 3 against BYU in Glendale.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Zach Hemmila. We will miss you. #BearDownZach pic.twitter.com/ini3IiQ3jr

— Arizona Football (@ArizonaFBall) August 8, 2016