Content warning: This article discusses the death of a student.
Jackson Coker, a first-year in Columbia College, has died following a car crash Wednesday morning, according to law enforcement officials and media reports. He was 18 years old.
Coker, who lived in Austin, Texas, was pronounced dead following a rollover collision in western Travis County, according to a report from the Austin-American Statesman. Emergency medical services attempted to perform CPR, but he was declared dead at the scene.
While at Columbia, Coker was a wide receiver on the football team, though he never played for the Lions due to the cancellation of all fall sports in 2020. In high school, Coker participated in track and field, was a volunteer at his church, and played on the state championship Westlake High School football team. He was recruited by all eight Ivy League schools before choosing Columbia. According to the Columbia Athletics website, Coker chose Columbia “because there is no other place in the world that has the combination of education, location and level of football like Columbia does.”
In a statement to the Austin-American Statesman, Coker’s high school football coach Todd Dodge described him as “the absolute heart and soul of our 2019 state championship.”
Coker planned to study economics and political science and attend law school after graduation.
“Not only was [Coker] a talented student-athlete who excelled on and off the field, but someone who embodied the personal characteristics our program is built upon,” head football coach Al Bagnoli wrote in a statement. “He personified what great teammates are all about. They give great effort in everything they undertake, are extremely accountable in their actions and always put team first. That, in a nutshell was Jackson.”
Information about Columbia’s Counseling and Psychological Services can be found here, and about Barnard’s Rosemary Furman Counseling Center here. Students on- and off-campus may contact the CPS clinician-on-call, available 24/7, at (212) 854-2878. Columbia Nightline provides free, anonymous peer listening services and can be reached at 212-854-7777. A full list of Columbia’s health and well-being resources can be found here.