Former ASU defensive end Bryan Caldwell dies at 54

Bryan Caldwell earned second-team all-conference honors in 1982.

Former Arizona State defensive end Bryan Caldwell, 54, died Saturday in Bay City, Texas, after battling Hodgkin lymphoma.

Caldwell, who played for the Sun Devils from 1978-80 and then in 1982, had been ill for the last few years but turned away from the traditional chemotherapy treatment last year, according to The Arizona Republic.

The defensive end’s place in ASU history spans a few highs and lows.

Caldwell took heavy criticism when, as a sophomore in 1979, he told ASU athletic director Fred Miller about head football coach Frank Kush punching a fellow player. The popular Kush was fired in the middle of that year. 

Caldwell sat out the 1981 season due to academic ineligibility, but upon his return the next year became a second-team All-Pac-10 selection as a senior. In 1982, he was ASU’s fourth leading tackler during a 10-2 season that ended with a Fiesta Bowl win against Oklahoma.

Caldwell went on to be selected 77th overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1983 NFL Draft but injuries sidelined him and ended his NFL career after a brief stint in Houston in 1984.

His legacy as a Sun Devil continued, however. His son, Kyle Caldwell, played on the Sun Devils’ defensive line from 2003-06.

Services for Caldwell will be held Saturday, Jan. 17, at the First Presbyterian Church of Palacios, Texas, per ASU’s official statement.