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Coroner cites high body temperature as preliminary cause of Kent State football player's death

Posted at 11:15 AM, Jun 15, 2017

The Portage County Coroner's Office said Thursday that preliminary findings show Kent State football player Tyler Heintz likely died as a result of hyperthermia, or a high body temperature.

On Tuesday, Heintz died after collapsing at a team practice. According to the coroner, Heintz was taken to UH Portage Medical Center where resuscitation efforts were made, to no avail. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. 

An autopsy was performed by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner. The results on the final cause of death may take months to be released. Meanwhile, the coroner's office is collecting Heintz's medical history. Heintz, a 2017 high school graduate, was an offensive tackle from Kenton.

His high school football coach Brent Fackler told the Ravenna Record-Courier:

“Tyler had a physical, maybe two in the last two weeks. On Friday, with us here, he ran '14 110s,' which is not easy. We run the 110 (yards), then they have 45 seconds to rest, then they run another one for 14 minutes. That's quite a bit of running, and Tyler didn't show any problems there.

It was my understanding that he did finish the workout at Kent, it was after stretching that he collapsed. It's just unbelievable. It's devastating.”

On Tuesday, Kent State University issued the following statement regarding Heintz's death:

"Today the Kent State University family mourns the tragic loss of one of our student-athletes, freshman football player Tyler Heintz. Tyler was transported to a local hospital by paramedics this morning following football conditioning drills at Dix Stadium. The cause of death is not yet known.

Tyler was from Kenton, Ohio, and planned to study marketing and entrepreneurship in the College of Business Administration. Tyler was recruited as a rising star on our offensive line.

Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with Tyler’s family and friends, as well as Coach Haynes and the team, our athletics staff and our student-athletes."