The University of Tennessee at Martin athletics department is saddened to announce that Coy Lutz, who recently completed his freshman season on the UT Martin rodeo team, passed away on Saturday evening.
Lutz, 19, was fatally injured while competing at the Cowtown Rodeo in Pilesgrove, NJ - a little over 200 miles from his hometown in Howard, Pa. He was majoring in criminal justice at UT Martin, where he registered points in seven different rodeos in 2015-16. He set career-highs across the board in bareback riding at the 48th Annual UT Martin Spring College Rodeo on April 14-16, tallying 78 points in the first round and 76 points in the short go for a 154 average. His opening round total was best in the field while his average score was tied for the top total in the event.
"Coy was just an outstanding kid who had a real bright future," UT Martin head coach John Luthi said. "He was a good student and he came from a great family. Even though he was only here for one year, his impact will always be felt here at UT Martin. He was a super human being who always took care of his business. It's hard to imagine why something like this had to happen but we have faith that God is in control."
The Cowtown Rodeo posted the following message on Sunday morning on its Facebook page: "Cowtown Rodeo and The Harris Family extend our heartfelt and sincere condolences to the Lutz Family for the tragic loss of their son, Coy. During this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with all who knew and loved him."
Before attending UT Martin, Lutz graduated from Bald Eagle Senior High School in Bellefonte, Pa. Following his commencement, Lutz shared his outlook on life with the Centre Daily Times newspaper.
"I'd tell all the underclassmen to work hard and not to slack, because it's worth it in the long run," Lutz said. "You do all your work and you can do anything."
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