Florida State forward Phil Cofer received a phone call from his family after the team's 76-69 victory over Vermont and learned that his father had died.

Florida State athletic department spokesman Chuck Walsh says Mike Cofer, a former Pro Bowl linebacker with the NFL's Detroit Lions, had been suffering from a long illness.

Mike Cofer had suffered from an uncommon disease that affects organs and tissue.

Walsh says Phil Cofer received the phone call during the open locker-room period and broke down into tears. The senior forward had missed the game with an injured foot.

Mike Cofer played for the Lions from 1983-92. The Lions drafted him in the third round out of Tennessee.

Florida State Phil Cofer AP round 1
Florida State's Phil Cofer (0) sits on the bench with a boot on his right foot during the second half of a first round men's college basketball game against Vermont in the NCAA tournament, Thursday, March 21, 2019, in Hartford, Conn.
AP