Rice mourns the loss of student-athlete Blain Padgett

Lovett College junior and Rice Owls defensive end Blain Padgett died in his apartment March 2. He was 21.

Blain Padgett

Blain Padgett

Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson shared the sad news in an email to students, faculty and staff and noted that Padgett said the proudest moment of his life was when he was given the opportunity to attend Rice. “As a community, we grieve with his parents, Mical and Wyndi Padgett, and his two sisters, Kenedy and Kamryn,” Hutchinson said. “We know and feel how great their loss is.”

A sport management major from Sour Lake, Texas, Padgett was a standout member of the football team. He led the defensive line with 41 tackles in 2016 and made the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll in 2016 and 2017.

“Our team is devastated by this news,” said head football coach Mike Bloomgren. “All of my thoughts right now are how best to help Blain’s family and his teammates in this very difficult period.”

Joe Karlgaard, director of Rice Athletics, said the entire Athletics Department is in mourning over the loss of Padgett.

“Blain was a great friend and teammate, and the sense of loss is overwhelming to his teammates, his friends, but most importantly to his family, who are in our thoughts and prayers,” Karlgaard said. “We will do everything in our power to provide assistance to our student-athletes in this incredibly difficult time.”

The Owls had been slated to begin drills on March 5, but the start of spring practice will be delayed until March 19, the week after spring break.

“Football is secondary to dealing with the loss of a teammate and friend, and our sole concern right now is supporting them in this difficult time,” Bloomgren said.

A vigil for Padgett was held March 4 in the Lovett Quad, where the central steps were lined with candles and flowers.

A gathering of Padgett’s family and friends is planned for 5 to 7 p.m. March 7 at Wesley United Methodist Church, 3810 North Major Drive, in Beaumont, Texas. The funeral service will be at 2 p.m. March 8 at the same church and will be followed by a burial at Rosedale Cemetery in Sour Lake under the direction of Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. More information can be found here.


About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is a Web editor in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.