Mark Vaught, the Idaho Vandals' director of football operations, died Wednesday night after a battle with cancer. He was 31.
Idaho athletic director Rob Spear tweeted the news Thursday.
Very sad day for the Vandal Family as our Dir. FB ops Mark Vaught has lost his courageous battle with cancer. Mark was a fighter to the end— Rob Spear (@Rob_Spear) November 6, 2014
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Vaught previously worked at Oregon State, when Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson played for the Beavers.
In August, I asked Petrino about Vaught, whom the team had posed for in a photo with a poster that said "Team Vaught," and though Petrino did not say what Vaught was dealing with, he knew the fight was serious.
"We all have to say a prayer right now for Mark," Petrino said. "Mark’s got some medical problems, I don’t really know if it’s my place to say it. That’s something if Mark wants it to be out there. I do want everyone to know that we’re all praying for him, we’re all there for him."
The following is a statement from Idaho:
The University of Idaho Department of Athletics lost one of its own Wednesday night when Mark Vaught, Assistant Athletic Director/Football Operations, succumbed to cancer.
Vaught, who joined the Vandals in 2008, touched the lives of everyone he met.
“Mark Vaught was a true professional; a great worker,” head football coach Paul Petrino said. “He brought happiness to everyone who was around him in his life. He was a great friend. I love him. I’m going to miss him forever.”
Vaught, 31, graduated cum laude from Oregon State University and earned his master’s degree in Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership from the University of Washington. He is survived by his wife, Bailey, as well as his parents, siblings and in-laws.
“I wish his family and Bailey all the love in the world,” Petrino said. “I know I’m a better person because I got to be around him.”