Saint Louis assistant basketball coach Ford Stuen, who served on the staff with the Billikens the last five seasons, died on Tuesday at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. He was 29 years old. No cause of death was revealed in the statement by the school.
Stuen is the nephew of Billikens head coach Travis Ford. He played under Ford at Oklahoma State from 2012-16, then upon graduation joined Ford's staff as Director of Player Development. He was elevated to an assistant coaching position after three seasons. Last summer he was recognized by the NABC as one of the rising stars under 30 years old in the profession.
"Words cannot begin to express the pain and sorrow we are all experiencing right now," SLU Director of Athletics Chris May said in a statement on Wednesday. "Everyone associated with our program knew Ford as someone who was fully invested in working for the betterment of our student-athletes. His passion, positivity, and amazing outlook on life are things we will all take with us. Our hearts go out to Courtney, Lucy, and Ford's wonderful family. Please keep the Stuen family, as well as Travis Ford and the Ford family, in your thoughts and prayers."
Stuen is survived by his wife, Courtney, and their stepdaughter, Lucy. His wife is expecting a son in August.
"On behalf of the Atlantic 10 Conference, I extend our sincere condolences to the family of Ford Stuen, assistant men's basketball coach at Saint Louis University. Coach Stuen, the nephew of head coach Travis Ford, was a talented young professional with a bright future in the coaching profession. His passing is far too early and reminds all how fragile life is on this Earth," A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade said in a statement. "Our prayers are with his wife, family and the Saint Louis University community."
At SLU, Stuen helped lead the Billikens to consecutive 23-win campaigns in 2018-19 and 2019-20. They won the Atlantic 10 Tournament in 2019 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014.