A somber start to rivalry week in Kalamazoo, after two former Western Michigan University football players died recently.
Paul Hutchins was an offensive lineman. After college he played for the Green Bay Packers briefly. Hutchins was recently killed in a car crash.
Chad Munson played quarterback for the Broncos for two years died after a lengthy battle with cancer. Western Michigan University confirmed the deaths Sunday.
Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard wrote on Twitter Saturday "Hard week for our Football Bronco Family. Prayers go to all feeling loss of Chad Munson & Paul Hutchins. Broncos For Life."
Hutchins lettered four years with the Broncos and was a member of the 1988 Mid American Conference championship team. In 1992, his senior season, he was captain of the team before the packers selected him in the sixth round of the 1993 NFL Draft. He was 47.
The Chicago native played 17 games for the Packers in 1992 and 1993, protecting quarterback Brett Favre and went up against legend Reggie White regularly during practice.
According to a 2013 article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Hutchins was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease seven years after he finished playing football professionally. That diagnosis would eventually lead to a double-kidney transplant.
It wasn't immediately clear when Hutchins died as a result of the car crash. Wester Michigan says his son P.J. was also in the car, and survived.
Munson died on Wednesday after battling cancer for 10 years. The 36-year-old Torrance California native played for Western in 2002 and 2003, appearing in 20 games his junior and senior seasons. He threw 4,283 yards and 30 touchdowns in his career. That includes 333 yards in a 26-21 season opening defeat against Michigan State in 2003. That was one of six times in his career he threw for more than 300 yards, with a high against William & Mary in 2003.
Munson is survived by significant other Jennifer and four children. A GoFundMe page was set up on Saturday for his children. In less than 24 hours, $7,000 was raised.
Western Michigan hosts rival Central Michigan University in Kalamazoo Wednesday night.
You can read the article from the Detroit News here.