The heartbreaking news that Midwestern State University football player Robert Grays has died from an injury sustained during a game has affected the entire Wichita Falls community and beyond.

Grays, a 19-year-old sophomore cornerback from Houston, was taken to United Regional Hospital in Wichita Falls Saturday night after seriously injuring his neck during a tackle in the fourth quarter of MSU's 35-13 win over Texas A&M Kingsville. Grays was then transported to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston on Sunday afternoon for further medical care where he passed away Tuesday night.

Separate statements from the MSU president and Robert Grays' family were released Wednesday morning, as well as heartfelt messages from MSU coaches.

Grays' parents sent this message:

To the leadership, coaches, players, faculty and students of Midwestern State University. It is with deep regret to inform you that our Son Robert Tyree Grays has transitioned from earth to continue his spiritual journey in eternity. We believe that he fought the good fight for his team mates, his family and most of all for the Kingdom of God. Yes, he has WON again!

Thank you All for your prayers, kind words, condolences and support.

We will contact you with the home going celebration information upon finalization.

Please remember "We Walk By Faith And Not By Sight"
2 Corinthians 5:7

Robert and Tammy Grays and Family

Midwestern State University President Suzanne Shipley issued the following statement:

Today we mourn the loss of one of our own. Robert Grays died yesterday from critical injuries suffered in Saturday’s game. I know you will join me in expressing the sincerest condolences of the MSU community to Robert’s family and friends. Please keep them in your thoughts in the coming days.

Robert touched many lives while attending the university, but perhaps he will be remembered best for his smile. He was an inspiration on and off the field to those around him, and he will be remembered with love and affection by his friends, classmates, coaches, and teammates.

This tragedy has struck at the heart of our community, and has affected us in many ways. Today, I encourage you to join with your peers to help one another. Together we are stronger. We will continue to offer counseling and support services to all members of the Midwestern community.

We will provide you with information about funeral arrangements and an on-campus memorial observance as details become available.

Suzanne Shipley

"We are saddened by the loss of Robert Grays, one of our own," MSU Coach Bill Maskill said. "This is not an easy time for anyone associated with the football program. He was a tremendous individual. I really believe he might have been the most popular man on our team. He always had a smile on his face. I never saw him have a bad day. He was an uplifting spirit for all of us. He was an exciting, fun loving guy. He's going to be sorely missed. Somehow, someway we'll find a way to fight through it. Robert would want us to forge ahead."

MSU assistant coach Donte Ellington reacted to the news on Twitter thanking Grays for sharing his smile.

NCAA Division II also shared their condolences:

Before coming to play for MSU, Grays was a two-time all-district player at Fort Bend L.V Hightower High School in Missouri City, Texas.

All of us here at Townsquare Media are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of such a wonderful young man. We offer our most heartfelt condolences to Robert's family and friends and pray the love of God surrounds you during this difficult time.

The MSU Mustangs' next home game is Saturday, September 30 at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls where they will take on Western New Mexico. Let's pack that stadium and support our MSU family and football team.

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