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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 19, 2017

ISU’s Rasheed to coach amid grief after son’s death

Aug 09, 2017

By Travis Hines, Ames Tribune

 

Eli Rasheed is finding solace and strength in his work, but the Iowa State defensive line coach and his family were recently struck by tragedy with the death of his 21-year-old son in a traffic accident in Ohio.

“The one thing we mentioned when we were in Toledo was that we wanted to come back and keep things as normal as possible,” Rasheed told reporters Tuesday, “although it’s good days and bad days.

“You still have to get up and go to work. I expressed to my players the same thing. There’s a lot of guys in that room who’ve dealt with loss. You have to get back up and get back on your horse and continue on.”

Osha Southward died July 27, in Toledo when the motorcycle he was driving hit the vehicle traveling in front of it, crossed the centerline and was struck by an oncoming vehicle, according to local news reports. Southward bought the motorcycle earlier that day, Rasheed said.

“He was a strong personality, a free spirit,” Rasheed said. “The one thing I appreciate the last three months with him is I know he was putting God in his world, and he was doing things right. Working two jobs, and I’m proud of him.

“I know, that being said, that he’s made himself into heaven.”

Rasheed and ISU coach Matt Campbell both started at Toledo the same year, 2009, when Rasheed was the Rockets’ defensive line coach and Campbell the team’s run game coordinator. Campbell became the offensive coordinator in 2010 and the head coach in 2011.

Rasheed was on his staff the entire time and came to ISU when Campbell took the Cyclones’ job in 2015.

“Coach Rasheed has probably got one of the biggest hearts,” Campbell said last week, “and one of the greatest human beings that we’ve ever been around.

“That’s the one nice thing about being together as a staff for so long because you know how to rally around each other. I say sometimes football coaching families, it’s a cliche, the football family but in times of crises, I think that’s really when you see family come together, and we’ve been able to come together and we’re going to have to continue for a while to continue and support them.”

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