Elon senior and football player Nicholas Kavouklis was found dead on the day before he was set to graduate, the Elon News Networks reports.
Kavoulis, 22, was away from campus when police discovered his body after 2 p.m. on Thursday, according to patrol captain David Skyes. The incident is still under investigation with no cause of death reported yet.
Kavouklis was a four-year letter winner as a long-snapper and played in every game starting midway through his freshman year. He earned a pair of CAA Academic All-Conference selections in 2015 and ‘16 and was an exercise science major.
"On behalf of Coach Trisciani, the football team and our entire athletics department, I want to convey how heartbroken we are by the tragic news of Nicholas Kavouklis' passing," Director of Athletics Dave Blank said, via a statement on the school’s site. "He was loved and respected by all those around him – friends, teammates, coaches and the entire Phoenix athletics family. Our hearts go out to his family and friends in this time of grief. He will be deeply missed but not forgotten."
President @ElonConnieBook asks #Elon19 to join hands in honor of classmate Nick Kavouklis who passed away yesterday afternoon. Says to remember no matter how bad things seem you are never alone. #ElonGrad pic.twitter.com/l31vdAUCxt
— Elon University (@elonuniversity) May 24, 2019
Elon began its commencement ceremony by honoring Kavouklis, where school president Connie Ledoux Book asked the graduating class to hold hands together in his honor. University chaplain Jan Fuller followed with a prayer.
"Nick was a great teammate and an even better person," football coach Tony Trisciani said. "His smile could light up any room and he will forever be missed by everyone fortunate enough to have him in their lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with Nick's family and friends and our Elon football family thanks everyone who has reached out to offer support during this difficult time."
Kavouklis is the second Elon football player to suffer an untimely death in the last four years. In 2015, junior wide receiver Demitri Allison, 21, died after falling from a residence hall.
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