SAN DIEGO — Ronnie Hillman, a former San Diego State Aztec and NFL running back, died at the age of 31, his family announced Wednesday on the football player’s social media account.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved son, brother & father, Ronnie K Hillman Jr,” the Instagram post read. “Ronnie quietly and peacefully transitioned today in the company of his family and close friends.”
The unfortunate news comes a day after it was reported by former Denver Broncos teammates that Hillman was in hospice care due to liver cancer.
“It’s not looking good. He has pneumonia and I’m putting it out there just to send positive vibes his way,” Hillman’s former teammate Derek Wolfe said on Denver’s 104.3 The Fan.
Hillman’s family expressed their gratefulness for all of the support.“We as the family, appreciate the prayers and kind words that have already been expressed. We ask that you would give us time to process our feelings as we prepare to lay our precious RJ to rest,” the family said in a statement.
Hillman was a standout at SDSU during the 2010-11 seasons, rushing for 3,243 yards (5.7 avg.) with 36 touchdowns over his career while adding 33 receptions for 338 yards (10.2 avg.) and two additional scores. He is ranked among SDSU’s all-time rushers with Donnel Pumphery, Marshall Faulk, Rashaad Penny and Larry Ned.
During his NFL career, Hillman played for the Broncos, Minnesota Vikings and the then-San Diego Chargers.