Family of former Stanford player Zach Hoffpauir is donating his brain for concussion research

Yahoo Sports
Zach Hoffpauir (R) had 99 tackles in his time at Stanford. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Zach Hoffpauir (R) had 99 tackles in his time at Stanford. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Former Stanford safety Zach Hoffpauir’s brain is being donated to Boston University.

Hoffpauir died on May 14 at the age of 26. His father Doug told the San Jose Mercury News that Josh’s brain would be given to the unit at the university that studies the effects of concussions on the brain and the effects of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, more commonly known as CTE.

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Hoffpauir said that he suffered multiple concussions during his Stanford career. Doug also said that he wanted to “make clear” that his son’s death was not via suicide.

From the Mercury News:

Zach Hoffpauir revealed on a podcast last fall that he had sustained “five or six” concussions during his football career and suffered from depression — to the point that he attempted suicide last year.

Doug Hoffpauir declined to disclose the specifics of his son’s death last Thursday but said, “It was absolutely not suicide, and please make that clear.”

CTE Center has over 600 donated brains

The CTE Center at Boston University has been at the forefront of brain research for football players and others in sports that include high frequencies of head trauma. But its research can only largely be done on the brains of those who have passed away.

Over 600 people have donated their brains for research at the CTE Center and the center says that over 300 of those brains have been diagnosed with CTE. The research done on the brains at the brain bank is designed to better understand CTE and how it can progress and develop.

The CTE Center is also doing a research project involving 240 male participants aged 45-74. Half the participants are former NFL players while another 60 played college football. The remaining 60 are in the “control” group. The center said the baseline evaluations of everyone participating in the study is complete in the seven-year project designed to help find the biomarkers for CTE in living humans and also help define the progression of the disease in real-time. 

Doug Hoffpauir said the family won’t know the results of any research into Zach’s brain for approximately a year.

Zach played both football and baseball

Zach Hoffpauir was set to be a coach at Northern Colorado in 2020 under first-year head coach and former NFL wide receiver Ed McCaffrey. Hoffpauir and Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey became good friends at Stanford.

Hoffpauir played at Stanford from 2012-16 before he medically retired from football. He spent the 2015 football season playing minor league baseball after he was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He had 99 tackles in his career at Stanford and was an honorable mention All-Pac 12 selection in 2014.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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