Ronnie Hillman Cause of Death
Former NFL running back Ronnie Hillman, a member of the Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 championship team in 2015, died Wednesday after a battle with a rare form of cancer, his family announced. He was 31. “It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved son, brother, and father, Ronnie K. Hillman Jr.,” read a statement posted on Hillman’s Instagram account.
“Ronnie passed away quietly and peacefully today with his family and close friends by his side. We as a family appreciate the prayers and kind words that have already been expressed. We request that we take time to process our feelings to prepare our precious RJ to rest.”
Hillman entered hospice care this week after unsuccessful treatment for a rare form of cancer with which he was diagnosed in August, the family said in a statement posted on the same account Wednesday. Hillman had renal medullary carcinoma, “a rare but highly aggressive neoplasm form of cancer that primarily affects young African Americans with sickle cell features.”
“Ronnie Hillman Cause of Death – cancer”
Hillman played five seasons in the NFL, including his first four with the Broncos. A standout at San Diego State University, Hillman was selected 67th overall in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft by Denver. His best season came in the Broncos’ championship season in 2015, when he ran for 863 yards and seven touchdowns in the regular season while sharing the backfield with C.J. Anderson.
Hillman had four 100-yard rushing games that season, including a 117-yard, one-touchdown performance in the regular-season finale, a 27–20 win over the Chargers that helped Denver clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. After helping the Broncos win the Super Bowl, Hillman spent one more season in the NFL playing for the Vikings and Chargers in 2016. He finished his five-year pro career with 1,976 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.
Hillman, who grew up in Long Beach, Calif., joined the Broncos when he was just 20, making him the youngest player in the NFL at the time. He played two seasons at San Diego State, rushing for 1,532 yards and 17 touchdowns as a freshman and 1,711 yards and 19 touchdowns as a sophomore. Hillman’s teammates at the Broncos and San Diego State shared their condolences with the family on social media late Wednesday.
“Fly high bro,” tweeted former Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, Hillman’s teammate for three seasons in Denver. “Pray (and) rest easy bro,” Anderson wrote. San Diego State coach Brady Hoke, who led the Aztecs from 2009-2010, and SDSU athletics director John David Wicker also shared memories of Hillman.
“Our deepest condolences go out to Ronnie’s family. Although I only got to coach him for one season, I will always remember him as a great teammate and hard worker,” Hoke said. “Ronnie always came to practice with a smile on his face and his passion for the game was contagious. He will always be an Aztec for life. “
Wicker said Hillman “has been around the program recently providing knowledge and insight” and praised the running back for helping “resurrect San Diego State football in his two seasons in 2010 and 2011.”