Former Florida Gator and NFL wide receiver Reche Caldwell was shot and killed on Saturday night in his hometown of Tampa, Florida. Caldwell was 41. According to his mother Deborah, Caldwell was shot in his leg and chest outside of his home in an “ambush.”
According to the Tampa Police Department it did not appear to be a random act. The investigation was being pursued as a homicide.
A Fallen Gator Great
Caldwell played for Florida under coach Steve Spurrier from 1998 to 2001. During his college career, Caldwell was selected third-team All-American by The National Sports Bureau, an honorable mention All-American selection by the Football News, a semi-finalist for the Fred Biletnikoff Award, and a second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection. In 2000, Caldwell’s talents helped earn the Florida Gators an SEC championship title.
Following the news of Caldwell’s death, Spurrier tweeted Reche Caldwell was of the best wide receivers to ever play for the Gators.
We are all saddened by the death of Reche Caldwell. He was one of the best WR’s in school history and was very instrumental in winning the 2000 SEC Championship. We will always remember him and RIP Reche! -Coach S.S.
— Coach Steve Spurrier (@SteveSpurrierUF) June 8, 2020
In 2002, the San Diego Chargers drafted Caldwell in the second round of the NFL Draft. After playing with the Chargers for four seasons, he signed with the New England Patriots in 2006. Then, Caldwell signed a one-year contract with the Washington Redskins in September 2007. At the conclusion of his Redskins contract, he finally signed with the St. Louis Rams. However, the Rams cut him during the preseason.
Within his professional career, Caldwell appeared in 71 games, catching 152 passes for 1,851 yards with 11 touchdowns. According to a statement by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, Caldwell will be remembered for his dedication and contributions to the game. The Chargers also released a statement about Caldwell’s passing.
Statement from Bill Belichick regarding Reche Caldwell. pic.twitter.com/p0qJrO9kTF
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) June 7, 2020
We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of former Charger Reche Caldwell.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Reche’s family, friends and teammates during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/vsoj0zeeWP
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) June 7, 2020