Former Track Star Antonio Pettigrew Dead At Age 42
UNC track assistant coach and former Olympic champion Antonio Pettigrew was found dead Monday night.
UNC associate director of athletic communications Matt Bowers confirmed via phone that Pettigrew had been found dead overnight. He indicated that a statement would be forthcoming from the Athletic Department and UNC Track and Field head coach Dennis Craddock. WRAL reported that Pettigrew was found in his car.
The 42-year-old Pettigrew was a track star at St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, from where he graduated in 1993.
In 2000, he won gold as a member of the American 4×400-meter relay team at the Sydney Olympics. The team’s medals were later stripped after Pettigrew admitted in testimony that he had used human growth hormone and EPO over a four year period. Last month, the team won their appeal of the IOC’s decision, restoring their medals.
Successful coaching stints as an assistant at St. Augustine’s and as head coach at Cardinal Gibbons High School brought Pettigrew to Chapel Hill as an assistant for the Tar Heels. He won NC high school and NCAA championships as a coach, and was a vital part of building the Tar Heel sprint, hurdles and relay squads since his arrival at Carolina in 2006.
Pettigrew’s bio on TarHeelBlue.com indicates that he leaves behind a wife and son.