We know that several players from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) have played (and still play) in the NFL. There's one player however that people know for a tragic reason. One former UTEP Miner that joined the big leagues that would tragically die during a football game.

The only player to die on the field was Chuck Hughes.

Before there was UTEP, there was the Texas Western College. And on that team was a blonde, blue eyed player with hopes of joining the NFL. That man was former wide receiver, Chuck Hughes.

After his time with the Miners, He WOULD join the NFL; he would be drafted to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1967. He would stay with the Eagles until 1969, until he would be drafted to the Detroit Lions in 1970. His career would be cut short on October 24, 1971 against the Chicago Bears.

With just over a minute left in the game, Chuck would run to catch the ball but it would be ruled as an incomplete pass. After he jogged back to the huddle, Chuck would collapse face first at the Bears' 15 yard line. Bears middle linebacker, Dick Butkus, saw Chuck collapse and would signal frantically for help.

Trainer Kent Falb and team physicians Edward Guise and Richard Thompson ran onto the field and were soon joined by a Lion, Dr. Eugene Boyle, an anesthesiologist from Grosse Pointe. All 4 tried to save Chuck's life...but there was nothing anyone could do. Chuck's career & life would tragically end that day in front of  54,418 silent fans.

Chuck Hughes was 28 years old.

As a result of the game, the Detroit Lions would retire Chuck's number, #85, out of respect. UTEP would also pay their respects by inducting Chuck into their athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.

50 years later, we still remember the life of Chuck Hughes; his time as a UTEP Miner but more importantly, his life as a man who fought to achieve his goals.

I know this was way before my time but any time we lose someone from El Paso, let alone anyone in the sport, it's sad. Never forget what Chuck meant to the NFL, to UTEP & El Paso, and never forget that his hard work led him to achieving his dreams in playing in the NFL. R.I.P. Chuck Hughes...

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