Mike Kudla, an All-Big Ten defensive end and Ohio State’s defensive most valuable player in 2005, has died at the age of 34, according to a press release from his former school district.
Highland Local Schools posted on Twitter on Monday that Kudla died unexpectedly Sunday.
Kudla graduated from Highland High School in Medina in 2002. Ohio State won the national championship his freshman season as a Buckeye and two Big Ten titles during his career. In his college finale, he had three sacks in Ohio State’s Fiesta Bowl victory over Notre Dame.
He signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent, but injuries ended his career prematurely. Kudla returned to Ohio State and in 2012 was named managing director of development for the Fisher School of Business.
He later became owner of Core Plex, which builds medical facilities. Kudla also worked with the NFL on protocols for chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Funeral arrangements are pending.