Iowa Star Jack Campbell's Grandfather Hit by Van and Killed Hours Before the Music City Bowl

Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell (31) in action against Rutgers during an NCAA football game, in Piscataway, N.J Iowa Rutgers Football, Piscataway, United States - 24 Sep 2022
Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell (31) in action against Rutgers during an NCAA football game, in Piscataway, N.J Iowa Rutgers Football, Piscataway, United States - 24 Sep 2022

Adam Hunger/AP/Shutterstock Jack Campbell

The grandfather of Iowa Hawkeye's linebacker Jack Campbell was killed on Friday after traveling to see his grandson play his final college game.

William Smith Jr. was pronounced dead after he was hit by a hotel passenger van in Nashville, according to The Tennessean. He was 76.

Smith was hit by the van when he stepped onto the road — and a family member warned him not to but he didn't hear it — on West End after 10 p.m., the outlet reported. He was then transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he died.

The Music City Bowl took place on Saturday and Campbell helped the Hawkeyes to a victory of 21-0 over Kentucky at Nissan Stadium. His parents waited until after the game to tell him so that Campbell could "have one last time to play with his Iowa teammates."

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Dec 31, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes linebacker Jack Campbell (31) looks on from the bench during the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats in the 2022 Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium.
Dec 31, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes linebacker Jack Campbell (31) looks on from the bench during the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats in the 2022 Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Jack Campbell

"Our hearts are with Jack and his entire family as they grieve the tragic death of their grandfather and father, William Smith, Jr.," said Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz in a school release.

"We know Mr. Smith was a strong influence on his grandson and a faithful Hawkeye football supporter. All of us – players, coaches and staff members – will keep the Campbell family in our thoughts and prayers during this profoundly difficult time."

Smith is the father of Campbell's stepmother Jen.

In December, the football star became the first Hawkeye to receive the Kicks Butkus Award, which is annually granted to the top linebacker in college football, according to the New York Post. He also ranked second in the Big Ten Conference with 145 tackles across 12 games.