PEORIA, Ariz. — Former Centennial football and baseball star Zach Hoffpauir, who went on to play both sports at Stanford before being drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks, has died at the age of 26, according to multiple social media posts.
Hoffpauir played safety at Stanford and was a baseball player who was drafted by the D-backs in 2015.
Former Stanford teammate and now NFL star for the Carolina Panthers Christian McCaffrey put out an emotional post on Instagram honoring his friend.
"Yesterday Heaven gained an angel, and I lost one of my best friends in the world. Zach showed me the way when I got to college. He did things the right way. He taught me how to enjoy life," McCaffrey's post read, in part.
"I never doubted for a second whether or not he had my back. He was a true friend and a great brother to anyone he knew. He was a walking example of how to care for people, a rare soul," McCaffrey wrote.
The summer after Hoffpauir was drafted by the D-backs, he hit .258 with 3 home runs in 62 at-bats in Class A ball before returning to Stanford to resume his football career in 2016.
Injuries ultimately derailed his football and baseball careers and Hoffpauir got into coaching.
Christian McCaffrey's father, Ed McCaffrey, a former NFL wide-out and now a football coach at the University of Northern Colorado, also shared a post on Instagram on Hoffpauir's death.
Hoffpauir was hired in April to coach safeties at Northern Colorado.
"He was a young, intelligent coach with limitless potential. Mostly he loved sharing his life and experiences with our players who he was born to mentor. My sincere condolences to Zach’s family and his many friends," Ed McCaffrey's post read, in part.
The cause of Hoffpauir's death was not immediately known.