Family members, UH Track Coach release statement after star athlete passes away
HOUSTON - It's been nearly a week since we learned NCAA national athlete champion and former University of Houston sprinter Cameron Burrell passed away.
According to the university, Burrell, 26, lettered with the Houston Track and Field program from 2013 to 2018, competing for his father, Head Coach, and gold medal sprinter Leroy Burrell.
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Burrell earned All-America First Team honors in the 60-meters three times in his career (2014, 2017-18) during the indoor season and was a three-time First-Team selection (2016-18) in the 100-meters during the outdoor schedule. He also earned All-America honors as the team’s anchor leg in the 4x100-meter relay in 2014 and again in 2018.
On Friday, Coach Burrell and his family issued a statement on Cameron's passing:
"On Monday evening, our family’s hearts were broken with the passing of our son, Cameron, who took his own life.
While much of the world knows Cameron from his accomplishments in competition, he was so much more as a son, a father, a brother and as a man. We love him, and we will miss him forever.
We may never know why Cameron made such a decision. We encourage anyone who may be struggling in their lives to reach out for help. You are not alone, and you are surrounded by more people who love and care for you than you may think in a dark moment.
If you or someone you know is struggling, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK
As our family navigates through this emotional time we will have no further comment and request privacy."
The University of Houston announced a memorial visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Sunday, inside the A.D. Bruce Religion Center (3841 Cullen Blvd., Houston, TX 77004) on the UH campus.
Additionally, a Celebration of Live service will be held at 4 p.m., Monday, at Westbury Church of Christ (10424 Hillcroft St., Houston, TX 77096).
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for contributions to a scholarship fund for Burrell’s daughter, Amora, which may be made by clicking here.
As a collegiate star, Burrell captured the NCAA individual national championship in the 100-meter in 2018 in Eugene, Ore., equaling his father’s accomplishment 28 years earlier.
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That season, he also ran the anchor leg of the Cougars’ 4x100-meter relay team, which successfully defended its NCAA national championship in that event.
"My family is extremely saddened with the loss of our son, Cameron, last night. We are going through profound sorrow and ask that all of our friends, extended University of Houston family, and the track and field community in the U.S. and abroad allow us to gather with our closest family and friends," Leroy Burrell said. "We are profoundly grief-stricken and thank everyone for the outpouring of prayers and support. We will forward more information when it is available."
Outside of his collegiate career, Burrell was a member of the United States 4x100-meter relay team, which earned gold at the World Junior Championships in 2012 and captured silver at the 2019 World Relays. He also anchored the U.S. relay team to gold at the 2018 Athletics World Cup.
On June 8, 2017, he became the 121st man to break the 10-second barrier over 100 meters with a time of 9.93 seconds. That mark topped his father’s school record – set five years before Cameron’s birth – by .01 of a second. He repeated that feat at the 2018 USA Championships.
Burrell is survived by his father, Leroy; his mother, Olympic gold medalist Michelle Finn-Burrell, brothers, Joshua and Jaden, and numerous family members and friends.