Former football player dies at 20

COSTA MESA — An Orange Coast College student who was a former varsity football player at University High School in Irvine died Feb. 5, high school officials said.

Cyrus Faghani died of causes that those close to him declined to disclose. He was 20.

Officials described him as charming and likeable.

"He was a very well-liked, gregarious young man, involved in our athletics program," University Principal John Pehrson said. "Even though he's been a few years out, there are still quite a few here that were affected by his passing."

University Football Coach Mike Cunningham would not disclose how Faghani died but said his death was unexpected. The Orange County Sheriff-Coroner's office said Friday that the cause had yet to be determined.

Although it's been almost three years since he graduated, the school was shaken by the loss of the former defensive end. It wasn't difficult for Cunningham, Faghani's coach for four years, to describe his former player.

"He had an infectious smile. Once you met him, you liked him," Cunningham said. "As a football player, he went 100% all the time."

Faghani attended OCC in the fall. School officials were surprised to hear of his death.

"We're deeply saddened over the loss of Cyrus, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, loved ones and friends," said Jeffrey Hobbs, a spokesman for the community college in Costa Mesa.

A memorial service was scheduled for Saturday afternoon at University Park, according to a report in the Orange County Register.

—Joanna Clay

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