HOUSTON — Former University of Houston sprinter Cameron Burrell, son of the school’s head track coach, Leroy Burrell, died Monday, the university said. He was 26.
The former NCAA National Champion competed in UH’s track and field program from 2013 to 2018. He won the individual national championship in the 100-meter in 2018, equaling his dad’s accomplishment 28 years earlier. He also ran the anchor leg of UH’s 4x100-meter relay team that year and won a national championship in that event.
"My family is extremely saddened with the loss of our son, Cameron, last night,” Leroy Burrell said in a statement. “We are going through profound sorrow and ask that all of our friends, extended University of Houston family and the track and field community in the U.S. and abroad allow us to gather with our closest family and friends. We are profoundly grief-stricken and thank everyone for the outpouring of prayers and support. We will forward more information when it is available."
Leroy Burrell released the following statement on Friday:
"On Monday evening, our family's hearts were broken with the passing of our son, Cameron, who took his own life.
"While much of the world knows Cameron from his accomplishments in competition, he was so much more as a son, a father, a brother, and as a man. We love him, and we will miss him forever.
"We may never know why Cameron made such a decision. We encourage anyone who may be struggling in their lives to reach out for help. You are not alone, and you are surrounded by more people who love and care for you than you may think in a dark moment.
"If you or someone you know is struggling, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
"As our family navigates through this emotional time we will have no further comment and request privacy."
Cameron Burrell was named to First Team All-American in the 60-meter three times in his career (2014, 2017 and 2018) during the indoor season. He was a three-time First-Team selection from 2016 to 2018 in the 100-meter during the outdoor schedule and was an All-American as the team's anchor leg in the 4x100-meter relay in 2014 and 2018.
Cameron Burrell was also a member of the United States 4x100-meter relay team which earned gold at the World Junior Championships in 2012 and silver at the 2019 World Relays. He anchored the U.S. relay team to gold at the 2018 Athletics World Cup.
On June 8, 2017, Cameron Burrell became the 121st man to break the 10-second barrier over 100 meters with a time of 9.93 seconds, eclipsing his dad's school record by .01 of a second. He repeated that feat in the 2018 USA Championships.
Cameron Burrell is survived by his father, Leroy, his mother, Michelle Finn-Burrell -- both Olympic gold medalists -- brothers, Joshua and Jaden, and numerous family members and friends.
A visitation will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, inside the A.D. Bruce Religion Center at 3841 Cullen Boulevard on the UH campus. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 4 p.m. Monday at Westbury Church of Christ, 10424 Hillcroft Street.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to a scholarship fund for Cameron Burrell's daughter, Amora, may be made here.