Former Tulane linebacker Jay Rink died Saturday morning after a five-year battle with ALS. He was 47.
A former Brother Martin High School staandout, Rink starred on defense at Tulane from 1987-90 and amassed 180 tackles with 13 sacks among 23 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and a pair of pass break-ups to go with a school-record seven fumble recoveries. Along the way, he helped lead the Wave to 19 wins and a berth in the 1987 Independence Bowl.
Rink was diagnosed with ALS — a degenerative nerve condition commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — in 2010 and has been an advocate for research and finding a possible cure ever since. He was the inspiration for the foundation of “Jay’s Defensive Line” and the namesake of “Jay Fest,” which raised money for ALS research annually since 2011.
At Tulane, Rink became a full-time starter at defensive end as both a junior and senior. As a senior in 1990, Rink claimed second-team All-Louisiana honors after tallying 56 tackles while pacing the squad with 11 tackles for loss and six sacks.
He completed his bachelor’s degree in general studies from Tulane in 1990. Rink is survived by his wife, Michelle, and eight children.