AKRON, Ohio -- Akron says assistant coach Alan Arrington has been killed in a car accident. He was 44.

The school says the accident occurred on Monday in Mississippi. Arrington was born in Oxford, Miss.

Arrington, nicknamed Tank, was an assistant head coach on Terry Bowden's staff and also worked with the offensive line. He coached at North Alabama and Mississippi earlier in his career.

Bowden calls Arrington "a very good friend and a great person." He says he is heartbroken.


The University of Akron athletics department posted the following message on its site:

The University of Akron Department of Athletics is saddened to announce that football assistant head coach Alan Arrington passed away following an automobile accident on Monday, Dec. 23 in the state of Mississippi.

Nicknamed "Tank," Arrington was in his second season on head coach Terry Bowden's staff and in addition to his assistant head coaching duties also worked with the offensive line. The native of Oxford, Miss., was 44.

"I can't put into words how tragic this is," Bowden said. "We have lost someone who was truly special and had dedicated his life to guiding young men. Tank was a very good friend and a great person. My thoughts are with his family and those who had the chance to know him and play for him. In all my years of coaching I have never known someone who loved and cared for his players more than Tank. I have lost a best friend and I'm heartbroken."

Arrington is survived by his wife, the former Gail Perkins. Funeral arrangements are not yet available.

"The Zips family has suffered a great loss," UA Director of Athletics Tom Wistrcill said. "Tank was a wonderful representative of the University and our team, and our thoughts are with his family and friends in this difficult time. We will do all that we can to help support them, our student-athletes and staff."

Arrington came to UA after six seasons at North Alabama, serving as the program's offensive coordinator for the last four years and working under Bowden each of the last three seasons. He joined the UNA staff following 12 years as an assistant coach at Northwest Mississippi Community College, after stints as a student assistant coach at Northwest Mississippi (1989-90) and Ole Miss (1991-93).

He is a 1994 graduate of Mississippi.

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