Former WKU tight end Mitchell Henry passes, loses battle with leukemia

Senior tight end Mitchell Henry struggles with Illinois sophomore line backer T.J. Neal in the first half of the WKU vs Illinois game on Sept. 06, 2014 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill. Nick Wagner/HERALD

Tyler Mansfield

Former WKU tight end Mitchell Henry passed away Friday morning after a six-month battle with acute myeloid leukemia. Henry was 24-years-old.

“It is with great sadness that we learned of Mitchell’s passing this morning,” WKU athletic director Todd Stewart said in a statement. “Mitchell was as committed to his teammates, his University, his friends and his family as anyone you will ever find, and we were so fortunate to have him as part of our Hilltopper family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his lovely wife Madison, and all of those who were blessed to have known Mitchell.”

Henry was a Hilltopper from 2011-14, catching 78 passes for 1,094 yards and 12 touchdowns during his time on the Hill. Henry recorded his best outing in a WKU uniform on Sept. 13, 2014—a 50-47, triple overtime loss at Middle Tennessee—as he reeled in seven passes for 128 yards and two scores.

“Mitchell Henry was a special young person and a joy to coach for two seasons,” former WKU coach and now-Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said on Twitter. “He loved the game of football, his family and his teammates. The outpouring of messages that came from his teammates today showed just how much they loved him as well.”

After his standout career as a Hilltopper alongside future NFL tight ends Jack Doyle (Indianapolis Colts) and Tyler Higbee (Los Angeles Rams), Henry originally signed with the Green Bay Packers in May 2015 as a free agent before being released by the organization later that year.

Following his release from Green Bay, Henry was soon claimed by the Denver Broncos before being resigned by the Packers in 2016. He was on the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad until being cut back in November.

Mitchell Henry’s family posted the following statement via Facebook:

“Mitchell passed away with leukemia this morning at 3 am. We are so proud of Mitchell’s fight with this terrible disease, proud of how he lived his life for the past 24 years, but most of all proud of his faith and acceptance of Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. We are emotionally and physically exhausted. We ask respect for our privacy until we arrive back home. We will welcome calls and texts at that time. We love and appreciate each and everyone’s support for Mitchell and all of his extended family over the last seven months. Please pray for all of our safe travels back home and the difficult days for our family that are still ahead. Love The Henry’s”

Reporter Tyler Mansfield can be reached at (270) 935-0007 and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @_TylerMansfield.