The Stanford Cardinal family collectively mourned one of their own this weekend after the news of Zach Hoffpauir, the former two-sport star, passed away on Friday, May 15, 2020.
Hoffpauir was with his father, who confirmed the news to the Arizona Republic, not citing a cause.
He was recently hired as an assistant coach for Northern Colorado as his minor league baseball career was officially behind him. Hoffpauir played two years of minor league baseball after staring for the Cardinal on the football gridiron and baseball diamond.
Northern Colorado head coach Ed McCaffrey expressed his feelings after the news broke.
“I am devastated by the loss of Zach Hoffpauir, a friend to me and my family since his playing days with my son Christian at Stanford,” McCaffrey posted to Instagram on Friday. “He was like a brother to our boys and recently found his calling as our safeties coach at Northern Colorado. He was a young, intelligent coach with limitless potential.”
His son, Christian McCaffrey, Hoffpauir’s dear friend, also responded to the news on Instagram with a lengthy post.
View this post on Instagram
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. He taught me how to not give a fuck about what people think about me, and to do it my way. He never lost an argument, or a dance battle, and he said what he meant and meant what he said. 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. We always talked about living simply when we got older: Hunting, fishing, riding bulls, RVing across the country with @beaukitson (One day we’ll do that). We talked about the little things in life and how to never take for granted a loved one. I’ll cherish all the memories we had bro. I love you and your family and I promise we’ll make you proud. Watch over us. Hug your loved ones extra today.
Hoffpauir was remembered and mourned through many other channels following the devastating news.
We are heartbroken for the tragic loss of our brother, Zach Hoffpauir, gone far too soon. Zach lit up every room he walked into, intent on giving his vitality and passion to bring out your best.— Stanford Football (@StanfordFball) May 15, 2020
Our thoughts and love are with Zach’s family and friends.
Rest In Peace, Hoff pic.twitter.com/lAEXjLRv4S
Life is not just about what you accomplish. I believe life is about how you influence others. Every day Zach Hoffpauir gave his love and passion to his family, his teammates and the players he coached. Our prayers are with the Hoffpauir family, though Zach you are always with us. pic.twitter.com/GuELVAcPYx— David Shaw (@CoachDavidShaw) May 15, 2020
This was Zach. His energy unlike anyone else & his empathy unsurpassed. To know him was to love him. Rest easy, Hoff. pic.twitter.com/B3HmhF7Y8d— Callie Dale (@CalJoySeid) May 15, 2020
His father expressed how Zach was excited for his life beyond playing sports.
“He was so excited to get back to Northern Colorado and try to influence lives beyond football,” he said to the Arizona Republic. “He loved his head coach, Ed McCaffrey. Christian McCaffrey was his best friend. He had so much to look forward to.”
The Republic also shared fond memories from Zach’s head coach at Centennial High School, where Hoffpauir had been nominated as the school’s greatest athlete to grace its halls.
“I just don’t have the words to express the loss. Just to so many people, so many people he would have reached and touched in the future. It’s a loss on so many levels.”
Rest in peace, Zach. Forever a Cardinal.