Former Football Star Max Tuerk Dies at 26 While Hiking With His Family

Former USC and San Diego Chargers football player Max Tuerk died on Saturday, June 20 while hiking with family in the Cleveland National Forest. He was 26.
By Cydney Contreras Jun 23, 2020 2:43 AMTags
Max Tuerk, Football Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Fans of football are mourning the death of Max Tuerk.

In a statement shared on Sunday, Tuerk's family confirmed that the 26-year-old died on June 20, 2020 while hiking with his parents on a "favorite" trail in the Cleveland National Forest. "Max loved his teammates, coaches and schools," the family shared. "Max was a loving son and older brother and his passing leaves a giant hole in our hearts. His strength and work ethic is an inspiration to many." 

No further details were offered on the cause of death. 

The USC Athletics Twitter account also shared the news of Max's death in a tweet which read, "The #TrojanFamily is terribly saddened by the news of Tuerk's passing, gone too soon at the age of 26, and our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with his family." 

Clay Helton, who was named head coach of the Trojans in 2015, described Tuerk as an "incredible person, teammate and Trojan," in a message posted to his Twitter. 

photos
Celebrity Deaths: 2020's Fallen Stars

Max played for the USC Trojans as a lineman from 2012 to 2015. Upon leaving USC, he was recruited by the San Diego Chargers, although a knee injury had him sitting on the sidelines for his first season.

Related: In Memoriam: Fallen Stars of 2020

Max was eventually released from his contract with the Chargers when he tested positive for performance enhancing substances. He claimed he tested positive because of over-the-counter substances.

In 2017, the football player signed with the Arizona Cardinals halfway through his second season in the NFL. However, Tuerk played his last game with the team in 2018.