AUBURN, AL (WAFF) - Tributes mounted Sunday afternoon following news on the passing of Philip Lutzenkirchen, who was killed in a car crash.
Gene Chizik released a statement shortly after news of Lutzenkirchen's death:
"Philip Lutzenkirchen was what every parent aspires their son to be. He was compassionate, determined, honorable and full of love, integrity and respect.
In 27 years of coaching, I have come across what I would consider to be a few 'rare' young men. Phillip was certainly one of those 'rare' ones. He truly lived his life for other people and always found time to give to others. His family values taught him to be a great friend and teammate of everyone he came in contact with.
My deepest sympathy is extended to his parents Mike and Mary, his sisters, and all of his extended family. We should all begin by honoring his life because he lived a life worthy of that.
In his 23 short years, he has certainly left an impactful legacy to everyone he touched. I will miss him deeply."
Current Head Coach Gus Malzahn and Athletic Director Jay Jacobs also shared their condolences:
"I'm deeply saddened by the untimely passing of Philip Lutzenkirchen. He was a great young man who touched the lives of everyone he knew in a positive way. On the field, Philip was a great player and competitor, but more importantly, he was a great teammate and friend off the field. My thoughts and prayers are with Philip's parents, Mike and Mary, and all of his family and friends who are grieving his passing. This is a sad day for the entire Auburn family. I find peace knowing that even though Philip was taken from us too soon, that he lived his life to the fullest, leaving a lifetime of great memories for his family and friends to cherish forever."
"Philip's death is a devastating tragedy for his family, the Auburn family and his countless friends. Today is also a profoundly sad day for the Auburn Athletics family, who loved and respected Philip not only as a great player but more importantly as a friend and the epitome of an Auburn man. I came to know Philip well and I admired everything about who he was and the way he lived his life. He had a strong faith, a big heart and a burning desire to help others. Philip was a bright light this world desperately needed, and his death leaves a void that can't possibly be filled. My prayers, my thoughts and my heart go out to his wonderful parents, Mike and Mary, their entire family and his many grieving friends."
Philip had been working with a wealth management firm in Montgomery, and was also volunteering as a coach with the St. James football team. Philip was there at a week ago to congratulate future Auburn tight-end Jalen Harris on his commitment.
Lutzenkirchen also has a sister who plays soccer at Alabama, who tweeted a picture of them together. She called him her "hero and a best friend."