Carley McCord

Carley McCord

Louisiana sports reporter Carley McCord is one of five victims killed in a small Lafayette plane crash on the way to Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Saturday morning, the family announced. 

McCord's husband, Steven Ensminger Jr. was not on the plane, and confirmed to the Associated Press that his wife was a passenger on the small plane departing Lafayette. Ensminger's father is the offensive coordinator for LSU.

The team is playing Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon. Steve Ensminger will coach in the game, LSU officials confirmed to The Advocate.

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron spoke to ESPN's Holly Rowe before the game, and said, "Our thoughts and prayers out to him. Steve and his wife, his family are so distraught." Rowe said during the game's broadcast that Orgeron broke the news of McCord's death to Ensminger before LSU's game.

Born on July 24, 1989, and raised in Baton Rouge, McCord began her career in sports journalism after graduating from Northwestern State in 2011 and Louisiana State University in 2013 with a bachelor's in broadcast journalism.

McCord's most recent positions were as a digital media reporter for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the in-game host for the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans.

"Not only was Carley an excellent representative of the Saints and Pelicans organizations, she was also a highly-respected member of the media covering sports, including the Saints and Pelicans with utmost professionalism for WDSU and CST," said a joint statement from the Saints and Pelicans. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Carley's family with this tragic loss.

Gayle Benson, the owner of the Saints and Pelicans, also released a statement to the Advocate.

"We are saddened to hear about the sudden loss of Carley McCord," Benson wrote. "She was always full of life and made everyone around her smile. Her energy was contagious and she will be missed by both our Saints and Pelicans family."

McCord also did freelance sports reporting for a variety of networks, including Cox Sports Television, ESPN3 and WDSU New Orleans.

“We are devastated by the loss of such an amazing talent and valued member of our WDSU family,” said WDSU President and General Manager Joel Vilmenay in the station's post regarding McCord's death. “Carley’s passion for sports journalism and her deep knowledge of Louisiana sports, from high school to the professional ranks, made her an exceptional journalist.

"As we reflect on her impressive body of work, we offer our deepest condolences to her family.”

Her first job was in Cleveland, Ohio, where she covered the Cleveland Browns. 

Two years later, the Louisiana native returned home as a radio host for 100.7 The Tiger and 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge.

"Cannot begin to tell you how saddened the Guaranty Media family is to hear of the passing of our former employee Carley McCord," Guaranty Media president Flynn Foster posted to Twitter. "We are blessed to have many connections to the Ensminger family at Guaranty. She will be missed. Our prayers are with Steve Jr and all of the family." 

A 2007 St. Michael graduate and Miss Louisiana runner up for 2011 and 2012, McCord married Steven Ensminger Jr., the son of LSU's offensive coordinator, on January 26, 2018.

The Associated Press and Advocate staff writer Brooks Kubena contributed to this report.

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