Ronnie Hillman, a Super Bowl champion, died at the age of 31 following a battle with cancer.
Ronnie Hillman, a Super Bowl-winning running back for the Denver Broncos, died on Wednesday at the age of 31, according to an Instagram post from his family.
According to a message put on Hillman’s social media on Wednesday, he was diagnosed with renal medullary carcinoma, a rare type of cancer, in August.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved son, brother, and father, Ronnie K Hillman Jr.,” his family wrote on Facebook.
“Ronnie quietly and peacefully transitioned today in the company of his family and close friends.”
Renal medullary carcinoma (RMC) is a deadly malignancy that mostly affects those who have sickle cell trait (SCT). It was unclear whether Hillman was suffering from SCT.
Hillman’s alma institution, San Diego State University (SDSU), paid tribute on their football team’s official Twitter.
“Gone way too soon,” it says, next to a photo of Hillman.
“We’ll miss you, Ronnie,” the message concludes.
SDSU’s director of sports, John David Wicker, commented on the school’s website, “We are saddened to hear about the passing of Ronnie Hillman.” Ronnie was instrumental in reviving San Diego State football during his two seasons there in 2010 and 2011, and he has recently been around the program imparting knowledge and experience.”
“Our deepest condolences go out to Ronnie’s family,” SDSU head coach Brady Hoke said in a statement.
“Despite the fact that I only had him for one season, I’ll remember him as a great teammate and hard worker.” Ronnie always came to practice smiling, and his enthusiasm for the game was contagious. He’ll be an Aztec for the rest of his life.”
Hillman was picked by the Broncos in 2012 after two excellent seasons at SDSU, when he scored 36 touchdowns, and helped the team win the Super Bowl in 2014 and 2015.
The club won the latter game over the Carolina Panthers after Hillman led the squad in rushing with 863 yards and seven touchdowns.
Hillman spent the 2016 NFL season with the Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Chargers before signing with the Dallas Cowboys before of the 2017 season.
He was dismissed by the Cowboys shortly after signing and never played for them.
The NFL and the Denver Broncos have been contacted for comment.