Daniel Te‘o-Nesheim, who set sack records in college and played in the NFL before returning to coach football at his alma mater, Hawaii Preparatory Academy, has died, according to multiple sources.
Te‘o-Nesheim, a former linebacker and defensive end, was 30. A cause of death was not immediately announced.
Te‘o-Nesheim was a 2005 graduate of HPA, where he competed in football and track and was a two-time All-Big Island Interscholastic Federation selection.
At the University of Washington he started all 49 games of his career (2006-09) and set what was, at the time, the school record for career sacks (30). He was a two-time second-team All-Pac-12 selection, a team captain and an All-Pac 12 Academic honorable-mention pick and graduated with a degree in visual arts.
At Christmas he helped purchase toys and hosted a shopping spree for underprivileged kids.
He was a third-round pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2010 NFL Draft and played four seasons in the NFL, having his most successful year with Tampa Bay in 2012, where he was in on 40 tackles and four sacks.
Psalm Wooching, who followed Te‘o-Nesheim from the Big Island to UW, tweeted, “Rest in Paradise bro. You paved the way for Big Island kids to accomplish their dreams. Thanks for all you’ve done.”
The UW football office tweeted, “All of Montlake mourns the loss of former Husky, Daniel Te‘o-Nesheim. Deepest condolences to his friends and family.”
UW Athletic Communications Director Jeff Bechthold, who has spent a quarter-century at the school, wrote, “No Husky in my time here has ever combined such a friendly, laid-back persona off the field with a non-stop intensity on it. RIP, Daniel.”
In a statement HPA said it was “deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our friend, colleague, and alumnus Daniel Te‘o-Nesheim. Daniel, a 2005 graduate of HPA, returned to his alma mater in August of 2015 as an assistant football coach and assumed the head coach position in May of 2017. He was also a member of our residential boarding program, serving as a dorm parent. HPA is working to support our students and community through this difficult time. We feel Daniel’s loss acutely in our HPA ‘ohana, and our hearts go out to his family and friends.”