Kansas mourns the loss of football alumnus Kwamie Lassiter
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kwamie Lassiter, who played safety for the Kansas football team from 1992-94 and then played 10 seasons in the National Football League, died Sunday after suffering a heart attack. He was 49.
Lassiter, whose son Kwamie Lassiter II is currently a junior wide receiver on the Jayhawks football team, helped lead KU to a victory in the 1992 Aloha Bowl and earned All-Big 8 Second Team honors in 1994. Lassiter led the Jayhawks in interceptions in 1992 with four and also in 1994 with three.
Following his Kansas career, Lassiter won a spot on the Arizona Cardinals’ roster as an undrafted free agent in 1995. He eventually worked his way into the starting lineup, and in 1998 grabbed eight interceptions – including four in the Cardinals’ season-finale victory that clinched a playoff berth. Those four picks helped the Cardinals to a dramatic 16-13 win at home at Sun Devil Stadium to propel the Cards into the playoffs for the first time in 15 seasons.
Lassiter had an even bigger year in 2001, when he was named an alternate to the Pro Bowl after grabbing nine interceptions.
He left Arizona as a free agent after the 2002 season, playing 10 games for the San Diego Chargers in 2003. He played four games for the St. Louis Rams in 2004 to finish out his career.
He remained active with the Cardinals after his career, taking part in alumni functions and occasionally working as part of the team’s radio coverage. Lassiter had been the first player host of the team’s “Big Red Rage” radio show in 2002.
Lassiter also created the Kwamie Lassiter Foundation, built to raise awareness for challenges children face growing up, including health issues like sickle cell, cancer and obesity.