Former Lions star linebacker Cofer dies at 58

Former Detroit Lions linebacker Mike Cofer died Thursday at age 58, the team announced Friday.

Though the team didn't say the cause of death, Cofer was diagnosed several years ago with amyloidosis, a rare disease that occurs when a substance called amyloid builds up in your organs.

Cofer made the Pro Bowl in 1988 and ranks second in Lions history with 62.5 career sacks.

"I was truly blessed to have had the chance to coach Mike," said former Lions coach Wayne Fontes. "He had such tremendous character. When you heard people talking about a player who always gave 100 percent, it was Mike. He epitomized that type of effort and gave it every time he took the field. Mike was very well liked and respected by his teammates and certainly by me and our coaches. My prayers and love go out to Mike's family."

Cofer played his entire 10-year career with Detroit after he was drafted in the third round out of Tennessee.

Cofer's son Phil plays basketball for Florida State and found out about his father's death in a phone call after Thursday's win over Vermont in the NCAA tournament.