EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Luke Laufenberg, a UTEP tight end and son of former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Babe Laufenberg, has died of cancer on Thursday, his family announced.
“Today we lost a son, a brother, a friend, and a warrior,” Babe Laufenberg wrote in a tweet. “(I) have never seen a person battle like Luke Laufenberg, but he lost his fight with cancer.”
According to the NBC affiliate in Dallas, Laufenberg was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma, a rare and aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, in 2017.
He was cancer-free six months later, according to the report, before it returned in April 2019.
Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett became emotional on the podium Thursday morning as he spoke on Laufenberg’s death during his daily news conference.
“You walk into the room and he’d just light up whatever was going on,” Garrett said, holding back tears. “It’s such a tragedy; it’s so hard to understand…I will forever be inspired by the life he lived.”
Luke Laufenberg was just 21 years old.
UTEP Head Coach Dana Dimel released the following statement regarding Laufenberg’s death:
“Luke Laufenberg touched our hearts and souls forever. His spirit and fight are reminders of what it means to play and coach the game of football. He was a fighter, a champion and a wonderful person. He was a very talented young man that lived his life and left a huge mark on everyone he came in contact with. He was a wonderful individual and will not be forgotten on our football team. Our student-athletes learned from how he prepared himself and the way he handled adversity. I know Luke loved playing football for UTEP and he will forever be a MINER!”