Jeff Klein, a former Auburn quarterback, died after suffering cancer, according to his wife Wednesday.
Klein, the Tigers' primary starting quarterback in 1999, and later a teacher and coach, had been hospitalized in Columbus, Ga., and Birmingham, after doctors discovered signs of "spots" in his lower back later discovered to be cancer that caused profound pain. According to Klein's wife, Adrienne, a tweet on Wednesday.
This afternoon, when my loved one was born, the love of my life was brought home.
"His passing was peaceful and immediately followed the end of life support. I finally got to see our precious boys after two long and painful days. Please continue to pray the Lord would grant me the words and wisdom to talk to my babies about how our lives have been completely changed.
Perfect gratitude to everyone who made the decision to come out and pray without hesitateing. The outpouring of love and support from loved ones, friends, acquaintances, health care professionals, and even perfect strangers has been an overwhelming blessing. Im thankful for every single one of you, and every prayer said. Please continue to pray for me, our boys, and our families as we strive to heal the wounds.
Klein's health was discovered on April 7, when friends set up a program to raise money to assist his family. The account was owned by more than $146,000 people.
Klein's wife announced that she had been diagnosed with metastatic squamous cell carcinoma, an aggressive form of cancer, and that she had taken a "significant" stroke on Tuesday.
Klein coached Auburn from 1999 to 2001, seeing action in eight games during the first of his three seasons. He later served as backup to Ben Leard and Daniel Cobb, finishing his career with 1,137 yards and seven touchdown passes in 13 games.
Klein, a native of Alpharetta, Ga., previously worked as a head baseball coach and assistant football coach at Loachapoka High School. He is survived by three young sons: Cannon, Coley, and Clayton.
Following last Saturday's A-Day spring game, Auburn coach Bryan Harsin demanded a prayer for Klein. On Wednesday, the school released a statement:
A Auburn Man from start to finish. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jeff Klein's family and friends. Jeff is here to help you in peace.
Cole Cubelic, a former Auburn player and ESPN analyst, wrote the following words to his former teammate:
"We lost a good one today. It was an honor to play in front of you, a joy to be your friend, and a joy to watch your husband, father, and coach become. Rest easy 9.Your boys will know your legacy. We love you. War Eagle!"
Today is our first day of losing a good one. It was an honor to play in front of you, a pleasure to be your friend, and a pleasure to watch your husband, father, and coach become. Rest easy 9. Your boys will know your legacy. War Eagle!