CORONAVIRUS

Ex-Hockey Pro Tyler Amburgey Dies Of COVID-19 At Age 29

The youth coach and former Team USA under-17 player thought he caught a cold, but the symptoms worsened.

Former pro hockey player Tyler Amburgey, who played for Team USA as a teenager, died last month from COVID-19, his wife told the New York Times. He was 29.

Amburgey, a youth hockey coach in the Dallas area, thought he caught a cold in August, but more serious symptoms such as nausea, breathlessness and headaches accelerated, Aimee (Eigenberger) Amburgey said to the newspaper. His coronavirus infection was discovered after his death.

In an interview with station WFAA (watch below), Aimee Amburgey said her husband finally got some rest after three days of suffering, but she later found him unresponsive. She said she was told that sleeping pills her husband took compromised his oxygen levels and ability to fight the disease. He died on Aug. 29.

Amburgey played for six team teams, including the Peoria Rivermen, in three professional leagues from 2012 to 2016 after juniors. As a teen he played for Team USA in the World Under 17 Challenge, according to photo archives and Hockeydb.com.

Team USA's Tyler Amburgey (No. 43) collided with Peter Holland of Team Ontario at the 2008 World Under 17 Challenge in Canada
Team USA's Tyler Amburgey (No. 43) collided with Peter Holland of Team Ontario at the 2008 World Under 17 Challenge in Canada.

The defenseman underwent five hip operations and sustained concussions, the Times noted. Recently, he experienced memory problems. The family has donated his brain to CTE research, as he wished.

“Hockey meant everything to him,” his wife said.

Amburgey had just been appointed head coach of the Texas Warriors’ 16-under AA hockey team, The Peoria Journal Star reported. Two of his players had tested positive for COVID-19, and two more had symptoms at the time.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter Rylee and three siblings.

“I just want him to be remembered for more than just a person that passed away from COVID,” Aimee Amburgey told WFAA.