SFU Clan quarterback Bernd Dittrich dies after losing consciousness in SFU swimming pool
Simon Fraser University's star quarterback, Bernd Dittrich, has died at the age of 21.
Dittrich, who was known as "Bernie" to his friends, lost consciousness in the SFU wimming pool on Tuesday night and was pronounced dead in Royal Columbian Hospital on the morning of Remembrance Day. He is survived by his family in Austria, where he was born.
According to an SFU news release, his head coach, Dave Johnson, said Dittrich had an undetected heart condition. The cause of death has not been determined.
“He was a special young man," Johnson said in the news release. "He is a kid who was a great example to our young guys, and a leader for our older guys. He was a great kid. We have 94 guys in the locker room and Bernie was one of the leaders of that group.”
Dittrich was swimming to rehabilitate an injured shoulder, which kept him out of the last two games.
SFU offensive coordinator Shawn Olson coached Dittrich when he played for the Vienna Vikings football team as a teenager. Olson recruited Dittrich to play for the SFU Clan in August of 2007 alongside fellow Vienna Viking Daniel Stanzel.