An enthusiastic and passionate player and coach who helped win football championships at nearly every stop of his career, former BYU offensive coordinator Mike Borich died at his Midvale home on Monday morning. He was 42.
Although no cause of death was mentioned in the obituary that ran in Wednesday morning's Salt Lake Tribune , Borich's father, Joe, said his son died in his sleep early Monday morning. He acknowledged that the former standout receiver at Bingham High, Snow College and Western Illinois had been having health problems, but declined to elaborate.
"It's horrible, a real tragedy," Joe Borich said. "He was a great kid, a great athlete, a great coach and a great recruiter."
Borich had been out of college coaching since leaving Arizona in the spring of 2003, having spent just three months with the Wildcats, and had been working for an investment firm in the Salt Lake Valley.
He planned on getting back into the coaching profession, his father said, and had recently expressed interest in staff openings at Weber State, Utah State and Utah.
Joe Borich said that as news of his son's sudden death has spread throughout the coaching ranks earlier this week, calls have poured in from the likes of Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, LSU offensive coordinator Gary Crowton, BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall and dozens of former college and NFL players.
"A lot of great coaches were really fond of Mike," Joe Borich said. "He had hundreds and hundreds of friends."
Borich had an especially close relationship with Crowton, whom he met at Snow College in Ephraim, when the Badgers won the 1985 junior college national championship.
Borich coached with Crowton at New Hampshire, Louisiana Tech and with the Chicago Bears before the two joined BYU's staff in 2001, Crowton as head coach and Borich as offensive coordinator and receivers coach.
"Gary and Mike had a brotherly relationship," Joe Borich said.
Borich was named the Division I football offensive coordinator of the year by one national coaching publication following the 2001 season, when BYU went 12-2. Following the 2002 season, he left for Arizona.
He leaves behind four children, who have been living with their mother, Christine. He was planning to marry his fiancee, Kathy Walton, in April, according to Joe Borich.
Mike Borich was a three-sport star at Bingham High, and helped the Miners win state championships in basketball and baseball. At Snow College, he caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the national junior college championship game, and he was part of a conference championship team at Western Illinois in 1988.
Graveside services will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at the South Jordan City Cemetery, 10650 S. 1055 W., South Jordan. A viewing for family and friends will be held Thursday from 6-8 p.m. and Friday from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at Jenkins-Soffe South Valley, 1007 W. South Jordan Parkway.