• College basketball coach's death shocks UTRGV community
  • Lew Hill battled COVID-19 and had health issues
  • UTRGV will name a new head coach soon

Lew Hill, a college coach who had just wrapped up a coaching stint with the Texas-Rio Grande Valley basketball team, died on Sunday.

He was 56 and reportedly died in his sleep. He also had a recent battle with COVID-19.

As of this writing, the cause of death remains unknown. However, Hill had his share of medical issues aside from battling COVID-19, the Stadium reported.

"Words cannot describe how any of us feel right now. Everyone in our department is devastated by this news," Rio Grande Valley athletic director Chasse Conque said in a statement (H/T ESPN). "Coach Hill was an incredible human being. He was my close friend and a trusted colleague.

"He cared deeply about those around him, from his family to his players to his staff and, really, everyone in the department and at UTRGV."

It was an unfortunate development for Hill who capped his five-year Vaqueros coaching stint with a loss to Texas Southern on Saturday. He took over the head coaching reins in 2016-17 after reaching the final four at Oklahoma.

Hill was an assistant for Kruger with the Sooners from 2011 to 2016 after seven seasons with Kruger at UNLV (2004-11).

"This is a tragic loss, not only for the UTRGV community but for the entire Rio Grande Valley community," school president Guy Bailey stated. "Coach Hill was very involved in the community and always had a knack for making everyone he met feel special."

Under Hill, Rio Grande Valley carried an 8-4 record. He is 66-77 overall and had a 20-win season during the 2018-19 season.

The 56-year-old mentor is survived by his wife, Renee, their two children, Lewis Jr. and Elle as well as three other daughters, Sierra, Erica and Asya.

 Head Coach Lew Hill of the Texas-Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros
Head Coach Lew Hill of the Texas-Rio Grande Valley died a day after coaching his final game for the Vaqueros. The cause of death remains unknown. Getty Images | Joe Buglewicz

Hill graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and played professionally for one season in Germany before venturing into coaching.

UTRGV is expected to name a new head coach soon with the status of upcoming games will also have more clarification moving forward.