Phil Petty, a three-year starting quarterback for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks football squad from 1999-2001, has passed away at the age of 43.
"Phil Petty typified what a Gamecock truly is," said South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner. "A native South Carolinian, he was a fighter on the football field, a tremendous person off the field and beloved by all Gamecocks. He was a great friend to many and a wonderful dad and husband. My prayers go out to his wife, Morgan, children, Sage and McCoy, and his many friends."
Petty came to Carolina from Boiling Springs (S.C.) High School and made a huge impact on the Gamecocks.
He redshirted the 1997 season and backed up Anthony Wright at quarterback in 1998. As a sophomore in 1999, he became a part-time starter, completing 65-of-146 passes for 803 yards.
Petty became the full-time starter in 2000 and kept that role throughout his junior and senior seasons. He directed Carolina to consecutive Outback Bowl titles and was a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Award, given to the nation's top quarterback, in 2001.
In 2000, he completed 170-of-315 passes for 2,285 yards, throwing for 305 yards against Mississippi State, a career best. He was also named honorable mention All-SEC by the Associated Press as a junior, leading Carolina to an 8-4 mark.
At the time, the Gamecocks' improvement from a winless record in 1999 to an 8-4 mark in 2000 was the largest single-season improvement in NCAA Division I history.
As a senior, Petty completed 164 of 288 yards for 1,926 yards, leading the Gamecocks to a 9-3 record and was named MVP of the 2002 Outback Bowl.
In the Gamecock career record books, he ranks fourth in pass attempts (861), sixth in pass completions (454), seventh in passing yards (5,652), seventh in total offensive yards (5,797) and tied for ninth in passing touchdowns (28).
Petty continued his athletic career following graduation from South Carolina, signing with the Tennessee Titans of the NFL and played for one season.
He followed his love of football to the coaching profession following his playing career.
He was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Hammond Academy during the 2003 season before joining the Gamecock coaching staff as a graduate assistant for the 2004 season.
Following the 2004 season, Petty joined the East Carolina University football staff, working with both tight ends and quarterbacks during his five-year tenure with the Pirates.
Earlier this year, Petty was named to the football staff at Gray Collegiate, located in Columbia, S.C.
Petty is survived by his wife, Morgan, and two children, Sage and McCoy. Funeral arrangements are pending.
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