ASHLAND, Ore. — Southern Oregon football coach Craig Howard, who coached Tim Tebow in high school before leading the Raiders to the NAIA national championship, has died. He was 64.
The university said in a news release that Howard died at home Thursday night after a day of recruiting.
Howard coached high school football in Florida from 2003 to 2010, leading Nease High to a state championship in 2005. His quarterback was Tebow, who later won the Heisman Trophy at Florida.
Tebow said in a tweet Friday that Howard was a mentor and father figure who changed his life.
Heartbreaking to lose my coach Craig Howard today. More than a coach, he was a mentor & father figure. He changed my life & I will miss him! pic.twitter.com/oNU9p35HFW
— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) January 20, 2017
Howard returned to his home state in 2011 to coach a struggling Southern Oregon football team. The Raiders turned things around, winning the 2014 NAIA title and falling one victory short of a repeat in 2015.