Former professional football player Ryan Mallett apparently drowned in Florida on Tuesday, authorities said.
Mallett, 35, was pronounced dead at a hospital after he was pulled unconscious from the water in Destin, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Michele Nicholson said the drowning victim is Mallett.
The Arkansas school district where he worked as the head football coach confirmed his death in a statement Tuesday, and the NFL and Mallett’s former teams shared their condolences.
«It is with great sadness that we share the loss of Coach Ryan Mallett,» the White Hall School District said. «Coach Mallett was a beloved coach and educator.»
The NFL said in a statement on Twitter:: “The NFL family is deeply saddened by the passing of Ryan Mallett. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.»
Mallett was a former quarterback for the Arkansas Razorbacks who was drafted by the New England Patriots. He also played for the Baltimore Ravens and the Houston Texans.
Last year, Mallett became head coach of his high school football teamthe White Hall Bulldogs, NBC affiliate KARK of Little Rock reported.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in a statement on Twitter that he was «extremely saddened by the tragic passing of Ryan.»
The sheriff’s office said Mallett was part of a group of distressed swimmers when lifeguards arrived at about 2:12 p.m. on Destin Beach, about 45 miles west of Panama City Beach.
“According to reports, a group of people in the water near the second shoal had been struggling to get back to shore,” he said. «One of the individuals, an adult male, went under and rescuers say he was not breathing when he was pulled out.»
Multiple swimmers have been killed in recent days along Florida’s Gulf Coast, where swim-at-your-risk advisories have been posted and swimming banned from some beaches.
The shoreline along Panama City Beach was the subject of a coastal hazard message beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday through evening. The National Weather Service warning says dangerous rip currents were expected.
«Rip currents can pull even the best swimmers offshore into deeper water,» he said.
The Panama City Beach area has been the site of 12 «surf zone» deaths this year as of Sunday, according to preliminary data from the National Weather Service. Ten of the 12 occurred this month, according to the agency.