Super Bowl Champion Mitch Petrus Dies of Heat Stroke at 32 After Working Outside at Family Shop

The former NFL player's death comes as an excessive heat wave has been affecting millions of people in the Midwest and Northeast

Mitch Petrus
Photo: NFL via Getty

Mitch Petrus, a former NFL player who won the Super Bowl in 2011 with the New York Giants, has died. He was 32.

Petrus died on Thursday at 10:45 p.m. after working outside at his family shop in Arkansas, a spokesperson for the Pulaski County Coroner Gerone Hobbs tells PEOPLE.

Petrus reportedly wasn’t feeling well and was taken to Baptist Health Medical Center-North Little Rock, authorities say. His official cause of death is listed as heat stroke.

The former NFL player’s death comes as an excessive heatwave has been affecting millions of people in the Midwest and Northeast, according to the National Weather Service.

On Thursday, a heat advisory was issued for much of Arkansas, including Lonoke County, where Petrus lived. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, temperatures in the area reached the low-to-mid 90s on Thursday.

A heat advisory warning continues to be in effect on Friday.

Mitch Petrus
Wesley Hitt/Getty

Following news of his death, the University of Arkansas’ football team — which Petrus once played for — shared a touching tribute on social media.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mitch Petrus. He was an outstanding competitor, incredible teammate and a true Hog. He will be greatly missed by many. Rest easy Mitch,” the team wrote.

Petrus distinguished himself early while playing college football for the University of Arkansas, starting off as a walk-on member of the team.

In the later years of his collegiate career, he was awarded all-Southeastern Conference honors, as an offensive guard in 2007, and again in 2009, when he didn’t allow a single sack, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

He was drafted to play for the Giants in 2010 as a fifth-round pick, playing with the team until 2012. While with the team, he took part in their victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.

Mitch Petrus
Wade Payne/AP/Shutterstock

Petrus went on to have short stints with both the New England Patriots and the Tennessee Titans the following year.

Throughout his career, he appeared in 27 NFL games, according to ESPN.

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