SWFL native, former Raiders OT Mario Henderson dies at 35
Mario Henderson, a Southwest Florida native and former NFL offensive tackle, has died at 35, according to Lehigh Senior High School football coach James Chaney.
“On behalf of the Lehigh Football Program, I would like to extend my condolences to the family of our Brother, Lehigh Lightning & Florida State Seminole GREAT, Mr. Mario Henderson!” Chaney tweeted Wednesday morning.
A cause of death has not been revealed, but Henderson died just days from his 36th birthday.
On behalf of the Lehigh Football Program I would like to extend my condolences to the family of our Brother, Lehigh Lightning & Florida State Seminole GREAT, Mr. Mario Henderson! #BoltUp #RestInPeace #Noleforever pic.twitter.com/FIkam787X0
— Coach Chaney (@coachchaney96) October 21, 2020
The 6’7″, 333-pound Henderson spent the first four years of his career with the Oakland Raiders after being selected from Florida State University in the 2007 NFL Draft. He played with the Raiders until 2010 before signing a one-year deal with the San Diego Chargers in 2012. He was released during training camp and went on to play with various teams in the UFL and AFL.
Prior to that, he played football at Lehigh Senior and Bishop Verot high schools.
Henderson returned to Southwest Florida coach high school football, most recently at Dunbar.
Chuck Millan met Henderson when he was 14. He has vivid memories of the two playing basketball with friends and says Henderson was a mentor to many young athletes.
“Sports helped him out but through that process, he learned about life and he’s been able to pass that on to kids. And I think the biggest impact isn’t going to be what he was on the field but what he has been off the field,” Millan said.
Dunbar High School on Wednesday tweeted that Henderson was a “truly sincere friend, coach, mentor and colleague to the Dunbar Tiger family.”
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