Edward Aschoff, ESPN college football reporter, dies at 34

This undated photo provided by ESPN images shows ESPN college football reporter Edward Aschoff. The sports network announced Aschoff died Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019 after a brief illness. Aschoff joined ESPN in 2011 as part of the SEC blog network, which covers the NCAA Southeastern Conference. During the past three seasons, Aschoff reported from college campuses across the U.S. for ESPN.com, SportsCenter, SEC Network and ESPN radio, ESPN reported. He was both a television and radio sideline reporter during games.  (Rich Arden/ESPN Images via AP)
Edward Aschoff. –Rich Arden/ESPN Images via AP

Edward Aschoff, an ESPN college football reporter known for his lively blog posts and thoughtfully reported features, died Tuesday after a brief illness, the network reported. It was his 34th birthday.

Aschoff had contracted pneumonia about a month ago, according to his social media posts. “I had a virus for two weeks. Fever and cough and the doctors think it turned into this multifocal pneumonia recently,” he tweeted on Dec. 5, noting that he rarely gets sick and had been taking antibiotics.

In a statement, ESPN said the network was “very sorry to have to share the devastating news of the tragic passing of friend and ESPN colleague Edward Aschoff.”

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“Our thoughts are with his loved ones, including his fiancée Katy,” ESPN said. The network did not confirm the nature of Aschoff’s illness.

Aschoff grew up in Oxford, Mississippi. His parents were both educators, and he played soccer and baseball, according to his biography with the Football Writers Association of America. In middle school, Aschoff was inspired to become a sports journalist by prominent “SportsCenter” anchor Stuart Scott, who died in 2015.

He graduated from the University of Florida in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and covered University of Florida football, basketball and baseball for The Gainesville Sun from 2007 to 2011, according to the university.

Aschoff joined ESPN in 2011, according to the network. In addition to writing stories, he would appear on television and radio for the network and earned a reputation for being the “most dapperly dressed person,” ESPN reported.

Kyle Bonagura, a reporter for ESPN, was one of several colleagues and friends who shared memories of Aschoff on social media Tuesday. Bonagura said on Twitter that Aschoff was one of the most “genuine, enthusiastic, personable people” he had ever met and that “he made the world a better place.”

In 2016, Aschoff and one of his colleagues won a first-place award from the Football Writers Association of America for a story about African American college football players dealing with racism and profiling. In 2018, Aschoff and another colleague won an award from the association for best column.

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Aschoff’s last feature for ESPN, published on Dec. 6, was about the upbringing of Clyde Edwards-Helaire, a running back for Louisiana State, and how his relationships with both his biological father and stepfather helped propel Edwards-Helaire’s success, despite doubts about his size.

Aschoff was planning to marry his fiancée in April.