Former USC QB and current assistant coach at Gray Collegiate, Phil Petty has died. The 43-year-old became ill on Wednesday and was hospitalized. He passed away on Thursday morning around 9:00 AM.
The Boiling Springs standout was a three-year starter at quarterback and led the Gamecocks to back-to-back Outback Bowl victories against Ohio State in 2001 and 2002. During his senior year, he was a finalist for the Johnny Unitas award, which is given to the best quarterback in the country.
“Phil Petty typified what a Gamecock truly is,” said South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner in a release. “A native South Carolinian, he was a fighter on the football field, a tremendous person off the field and beloved by all Gamecocks. He was a great friend to many and a wonderful dad and husband. My prayers go out to his wife, Morgan, children, Sage and McCoy, and his many friends.”
Petty was named MVP of the 2002 Outback Bowl after throwing for 227 yards and two scores in the 31-28 win over the Buckeyes.
During his last two seasons at USC, Petty completed 306-of-547 passes for 4,079 yards and 17 touchdowns while leading the Gamecocks to a 17-7 record. He threw for 2,110 yards in 2000, helping the Gamecocks to an 8-4 mark, which completed the greatest single-season turnaround in Division I-A (FBS) history after an 0-11 campaign in 1999.
In the Gamecock career record books, he ranks fourth in pass attempts (861), sixth in pass completions (454), seventh in passing yards (5,652), seventh in total offensive yards (5,797) and tied for ninth in passing touchdowns (28).
After USC, Petty spent one season with the Tennessee Titans before starting his coaching career at Hammond School for one season. He spent 2004 as a graduate assistant with the Gamecocks, and then moved to East Carolina with Skip Holtz where he coached for five years.
Petty is survived by his wife and two children.