Former NFL Defensive End and Clemson University Athlete Adrian Dingle Dead at 45

Adrian Dingle Dead

Adrian Dingle Dead

Photo: Getty Images

Former NFL defensive end Adrian Dingle has died suddenly at the age of 45.

Clemson University, where Dingle played 46 games during college, announced the news on its website, revealing that Dingle died Tuesday.

His cause of death has not been made public.

Dingle’s fiancée Amy Bell mourned the athlete’s death on Instagram Wednesday with a post of Dingle cuddling with their son Adrian, whom they welcomed in 2018.

She captioned the moment with a broken-heart emoji.

On Friday, Bell also shared a special video of their 2-year-old daughter Ava, along with little Adrian, hitting the former NFL star’s bare belly and laughing together. Bell did not include a caption for the sentimental clip.

“While Adrian was known for his football accomplishments, he was so much more than football. In the few short days since his passing, I’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of stories and memories,” Bell tells PEOPLE.

“The common theme is his infectious smile and his selfless love. I’ve never met any other person who could meet someone once and go on to be a groomsman in a wedding. His smile will live on through his gorgeous babies who loved their daddy beyond measure.”

Dingle’s former San Diego Chargers (now the Los Angeles Chargers) teammate Marcellus Wiley remembered him with a photo of the two posing with their fellow “2000’s Chargers Legends.”

“RIP to my teammate @AdrianDingle We were just hanging, laughing, swapping war stories, and talking family. Rest easy big dog! 🙏🏿❤️,” he wrote on Twitter.

PEOPLE reached out to Wiley but did not immediately hear back.

According to Clemson, Dingle graduated from Roberts High School in Holly Hill, South Carolina. He was named the defensive MVP of 1994’s North-South High School All-Star game.

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At Clemson, he started as a defensive end during his last three years for a total of 34 games. “He helped the Tigers to three bowl games over his career,” the university said.

Dingle went pro after being drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 1999 NFL draft’s fifth round. He played with the team until 2004.

“He had his best year in 2003 when he had six sacks and 16 total tackles for loss among his 37 tackles,” Clemson wrote.

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Dingle started in his first Chargers game in September 2003, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

He recalled being told the news during a Sunday morning meeting. The day before, the team played their final preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers.

“I’m going to go out there and do the same thing I’ve been doing, try to play the best I can to help the team win,” Dingle vowed. “There’s no extra excitement. You’ve got the same job to do.”

An obituary for Dingle said that funeral arrangements have not been finalized.