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September 3, 2012

Mother of Auburn fullback Jay Prosch dies

By Ethan Bernal

Special to the Advertiser

AUBURN — Amidst the Labor Day celebrations, the Auburn football family received somber news on Monday.

Iris Prosch, mother of fullback Jay Prosch, passed away Sunday morning after battling brain cancer since April 2011.

“As everybody has heard, unfortunately this morning Jay Prosch’s mother passed away,” Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. “We just ask that everybody keeps him in their thoughts and prayers and it’s a very difficult situation as you would imagine. We’re trying to all be very respectful of the situation.”

Chizik said there are no details on funeral arrangements or Prosch’s availability for Saturday’s matchup against Mississippi State. Chizik said those details will be released by Tuesday.

Prosch, a Mobile native, transferred from Illinois in January to be closer to his ailing mother. Iris was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a grade-four brain cancer.

In January, Prosch spoke about transferring.

“She was just like, ‘I wish you didn’t have to leave. I wish you were closer so you could come home more,’” Prosch said.

So that’s what he did.

“It has nothing to do with the school,” Prosch said. “It’s really about the coaching change, and that sparked the idea that since there’s a coaching change, maybe I can be closer to my mom.”

Iris had been undergoing experimental treatment at Duke University last spring. She went through four months of radiation and chemotherapy treatments, along with two brain surgeries.

She then received treatment at The Mitchell Cancer Center in Mobile and checked back into Duke every two months.

Chizik spoke with Prosch on Monday morning.

“He’s at home,” Chizik said. “He’s doing fine, as fine as you can be under the circumstances.”

Prosch’s teammates have been showing support via social media.

“Please pray for my brother Jay Prosch and his family,” tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen tweeted.

“Prayers for my dude Jay Prosch,” tweeted kicker Cody Parkey.

Prosch made his debut with the Tigers on Saturday against Clemson.
Prosch cleared the way for 180 yards on the ground and recovered a fumble on Auburn’s final drive.

Prosch was All-American fullback for Illinois as well as a large contributor on special teams, winning the team’s special teams player of the year award in 2011.

The NCAA awarded Prosch a hardship waiver in June, making him immediately eligible to play for the Tigers.

Following Saturday’s 26-19 loss to Clemson, Prosch said how much he enjoyed his first game at Auburn.

“It was definitely a different feel than Illinois … just the fans and the environment,” Prosch said. “I really enjoyed it. It was awesome.”


  1. Oh man, very sorry to hear this news. Sending prayers and thoughts to Jay and his family.

    Comment by Simmons — September 3, 2012 @ 8:08 pm

  2. Prayers are never enough but there will be many, many…

    Comment by waspan — September 3, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

  3. May God Bless the Prosch family. Speaking for my fellow dawg fans, our prayers will be with them.

    Comment by nolabigdawg — September 4, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

  4. God Bless Iris, Jay and the rest of the Prosch family. Jay’s a beast on the field, but Iris’s boy still. I pray he can find solace in the time he was able to spend with her the past few months. WDE Jay, the Auburn family grieves…

    Comment by ATLTiger — September 4, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

  5. Jay, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. It is a sad time for all of us at Auburn as we share in your loss.

    Comment by TrueBlue — September 4, 2012 @ 6:08 pm


    Comment by hawgfan — September 4, 2012 @ 6:21 pm

  7. The Auburn family, coast to coast, share your pain. Our thoughts are with you and the Prosch family.

    Comment by Roger Rader — September 4, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

  8. I know how he feels. We will be praying for his family and him during this time of loss.

    Comment by David Turbeville — September 4, 2012 @ 6:43 pm

  9. My son is on the team with Jay. What a wonderful person he is.
    Our prayers are with Jay and his family and we hope he can find solitude knowing that she is no longer in pain and watching him play SEC football from above.
    I hope the team will dedicate the season to the Prosch family and this will motivate them.
    Auburn football, take care of your brother in these trying times.
    May God bless you and your family Jay!!

    Comment by Randy — September 4, 2012 @ 7:47 pm

  10. I went to school with Iris, and she was a beautiful person. Her smile was infectious!!! We here in Auburn will take good care of him. Her memorial service will be held in Mobile Thursday, from 4 – 6 at First Baptist at North Mobile, memorial at 6:30. Rest in peace Iris.

    Comment by Shelia — September 4, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

  11. Many prayers going up for this family. May the peace that passes all understanding be on this family.

    Comment by Dave — September 4, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

  12. You are in my prayers Jay. God will hold you and help you through all that you are going through. He is stronger than anyone of us. Going to be hard I know. I lost both of my parents. But God made me stronger and I was so glad that I got to spend the last Two months with my Dad before he left us. But on the Bright Side you have the whole Auburn family that will support you and be there if you need any thing.. War Eagle!!!

    Comment by Tammy Jones — September 5, 2012 @ 8:24 am

  13. So sad. Very sorry to hear this. I lost my father to a butterfly glioma last November, so I’ve walked a mile in this young man’s shoes.

    Comment by Bill — September 5, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

  14. Sorry for your loss young man keep your head up and be strong she is looking down on you and smiling.

    Comment by Anthony Arkansas — September 6, 2012 @ 9:01 am

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