A coach with Mesa Community College has died, Maricopa Community Colleges has confirmed. Police are investigating after he died in an altercation Saturday night.
Ben McIvor was in a brief fight near 43rd Avenue and Bell Road with a 47-year-old man who police have not identified around 10 p.m.
Police said McIver fell and hit his head during the altercation. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
The other man has cooperated with police after leaving the scene. Police have not said whether they expect he will face any charges.
Coach Ben McIvor was the defensive line/special teams coordinator at MCC in his 20th season of coaching football. He was also the head track coach at Glendale High School.
McIvor was the head coach for football at Glendale High School for six years before working at Mesa Community College.
MCC head coach Ryan Felker called a players' meeting on Monday, the day before the Thunderbirds' first practice.
"The meeting was not about what happened to coach. Not about football, but about healing as a family," Felker said.
As an MCC assistant coach for five years, McIver made an impact on several players' lives.
"Like a father. He meant a lot to me man," said former MCC player Kenneth Steele, who is now playing football at Southeastern Louisiana. "Just to get that opportunity coming out of high school. That built our relationship to to a different type.”
Steele said he wouldn't be playing football at his new school without McIver's help.
Felker knows many other student athletes who feel the same way.
"To all of them at least a second dad, but to most, their dad. Setting an alarm. Making sure they aren't starving," Felker said.
The high school's bookstore is taking donations for the family.
R.i.P Coach Ben Mclvor 😔you wasn't just a coach but a father. You always preached to be better, your family will be kept in my prayers. 🙏🙏— $AVAG£ |I£E (@ClaudePelon) July 30, 2017
This is devastating to me and we're all experiencing this loss. You were like a part of my family, like a brother to me. I love you..— Ryan Felker (@Thund3rB1rd1) July 31, 2017
Gonna miss you Coach Mac. You were a great coach and mentor to work with, and an even better person. Coach and play for men like Ben McIvor! pic.twitter.com/d2yua00WgC— Coach Robert Ortiz (@ROrtiz2Jr) July 31, 2017