Denver Broncos Super Bowl-winning running back Ronnie Hillman died Wednesday at the age of 31, his family posted on his Instagram page.
Hillman was diagnosed with renal medullary carcinoma, a rare cancer, in August, according to a statement posted on his social media on Wednesday.
A statement from his family read, “We are deeply saddened to share the passing of our beloved son, brother and father, Ronnie K. Hillman Jr.
“Ronnie made the transition quietly and peacefully today with family and close friends.”
Renal medullary cancer is a highly aggressive cancer that primarily affects people with sickle cell disease (SCT). It was not immediately clear whether Hillman himself had SCT.
Hillman’s alma mater, San Diego State University (SDSU), posted tributes on the football team’s official Twitter account.
“Too early” is written alongside an image of Hillman.
“I miss you Ronnie,” the post ends.
On the school’s website, SDSU Athletics Director John David Wicker wrote: Ronnie helped revive San Diego State football in his two seasons in 2010 and his 2011, most recently participating in programs that provide wisdom and insight. ”
SDSU head coach Brady Hawke added: “My heart goes out to Ronnie’s family.
“I only coached him for one season, but I remember him as a great teammate and a hard worker. His passion for was infectious. He will always be Aztec for Life.”
After two glorious seasons with 36 touchdowns at SDSU, Hillman was drafted by the Broncos in 2012 and helped lead the team to the Super Bowl in 2014 and 2015, according to NFL.com. .
The team tallied 863 yards and seven touchdowns in a win over the Carolina Panthers after a season in which Hillman was the top rusher.
Hillman spent the 2016 NFL season with the Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Chargers before signing with the Dallas Cowboys prior to the 2017 season.
He never played for the Cowboys as he was released from the team shortly after signing.
CNN has reached out to the NFL and the Broncos for comment.