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Former Rutgers football captain Brian Sheridan passes away at 45

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The third leading tackler in program history will be missed.

Illinois v Rutgers Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

Brian Sheridan, a former two-time captain who holds the program’s single season tackle record, sadly passed away at the age of 45. The native of Union, New Jersey was the head coach at American Heritage high school in Delray, Florida. The Palm Beach Post reported that Sheridan lost his battle with cancer and his team stated “It is with very heavy hearts that we have to announce the passing of our head football coach, Brian Sheridan. He quietly and courageously fought an illness for several months.”

Sheridan was the 1992 New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year and a two-time all-state selection by the Star-Ledger. He led Union High School to back to back 11-0 records and the top ranking in New Jersey his final two seasons.

At Rutgers, Sheridan was a four-time letterwinner between 1993-1997, amassing 389 tackles in his career, the third most in program history. The linebacker made an immediate impact in his first collegiate game, registering an interception along with a 93-yard fumble return for a touchdown in a win over Colgate. As a junior, Sheridan was awarded the George T. Cronin Trophy for most improved player on the team. He had 132 tackles that season, 10th most in program history.

In his senior campaign, Sheridan set the program’s single season record for tackles with 161. He produced two of the top four games in total tackles in Rutgers history that season, registering 26 tackles against Boston College (2nd all-time) and 23 tackles against Miami (tied for 3rd all-time). Sheridan was named the Homer Hazel award winner, which is given to the team’s Most Valuable Player. In addition, he was named a Second Team All-Big East selection.

Sheridan also coached five seasons at Newark East Side high school and accumulated a record of 26-15. He then served as defensive coordinator at American Heritage for two seasons before being promoted to head coach last December.