LSU Quarterback Finds out About Fatal Plane Crash After the Game

By Victor Westerkamp

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow found out the hard way that his coach’s daughter in law had been killed in a small plane crash—during a post-game interview on live television.

“I wanted to get into this,” ESPN reporter Dari Nowkhah said. “Your offensive coordinator, obviously, Steve Ensminger, lost his daughter-in-law in a plane crash shortly before this game, Business Insider reported.”

Nowkhah was referring to 30-year-old ESPN sports reporter Carley McCord, who died on her way to the game.

Steve Ensminger
LSU Offensive Coordinator Steve Ensminger watches teams warm up before the first half of the Peach Bowl NCAA semifinal college football playoff game between LSU and Oklahoma, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Atlanta (John Amis/Associated Press)

“Oh my gosh,” Burrow says,

“Did you not know that?” Nowkhah asked.

“That’s a tough one,” Burrow said.

Ensinger hadn’t told his team about the crash of a mini plane that carried five persons along with his daughter in law to the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia, to see LSU play the Oklahoma Sooners, probably because he wanted to keep his players focused on the game.

“I’m going have to see Coach now,” Burrow said. “Obviously he’s a great man, great family.”

“I didn’t know that you didn’t know,” Nowkhah said, before wrapping up the interview.

The plane had crashed just after takeoff from Lafayette on Saturday and left five dead.

“I hope the world is praying for Ensminger,” Burrow said before rushing off.

Some were not impressed with the way Burrow had to learn about the tragic incident.

“Yikes. Dari Nowkhah broke the news of the plane crash to Burrow live during a postgame interview,” Tim Kaiser, a sports reporter commented on Twitter. “Burrow ended up handling it well, and it had been talked about so much on the broadcast I don’t really blame Dari for figuring the team knew.”

small plane crashed
Authorities investigate the scene after a small plane crashed into the parking lot of a post office in Lafayette, La., Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019. Several people died in the crash (Scott Clause/The Lafayette Advertiser/Associated Press)

ESPN announcer Matt Barrie got backlash after he said, likely in a word mix-up, that the plane accident could have formed a “distraction” for the players’ concentration shortly before the game which was to advance to national championship game.

“Certainly our thoughts and prayers with coach and his family, as he gets to do his job and try to put away the distraction of losing his daughter-in-law just hours before kickoff,” he said.

“Let’s not refer to an LSU assistant coach losing one of his children in a plane crash as a ‘distraction’ from the football game at hand,” said Alex Kirschner, another writer on football to Twitter.

LSU Tigers beat the Oklahoma Sooners 63 to 28.