Iowa State football assistant coach Curtis Bray has died. University officials say Bray, who spent the last five seasons as the Cyclones' defensive line coach, passed away in Ames this morning. He was 43.

Bray joined Iowa State's staff in 2009, shortly after Paul Rhoads was named head coach. During his tenure, Bray helped the Cyclones earn three bowl appearances (2009 Insight Bowl, 2011 Pinstripe Bowl, 2012 Liberty Bowl).

“Curtis Bray was a dear friend to me and to all he ever came in contact with,” Rhoads said. “He was a trusted and loyal assistant coach who always put the kids and the team in front of his work. He was as genuine in his approach to relationships, coaching and life as anyone I have ever been associated with. We will miss him dearly.”

Prior to his arrival in Ames, Bray was an assistant at Temple. His relationship with Rhoads was cultivated at the University of Pittsburgh, where Bray coached seven years. Bray coached Pitt's linebackers while Rhoads was the team's defensive coordinator. Bray also played football at Pittsburgh.

He is survived by his wife, Heather, a daughter, Sydney, and a son, Colden Charles.