Doug Flutie’s Parents Die within One Hour of Each Other

'They say you can die of a broken heart and I believe it.'

Boston College football legend Doug Flutie lost both his parents Wednesday to heart attacks within an hour of each other, the quarterback said in a Facebook post.

Flutie, 53, said his father Dick had been ill and died of a heart attack in the hospital. Less than an hour later, his mother Joan died of a sudden heart attack.

“They say you can die of a broken heart and I believe it,” Flutie said. “I would like to honor my parents for all that they did throughout my and my brothers’ and sister’s lives. My parents were always there for their children, from the days my Dad coached us as kids and my Mom would work the concession stands, through to this morning. The most important part of their 56 years of marriage was providing opportunities to their children.”

Boston College offered its condolences on Twitter.

Flutie won the Heisman Trophy in 1984 while at Boston College, where he’s still fondly remembered for his game-winning “Hail Flutie” pass to Gerard Phelan to upset Miami en route to the 1985 Cotton Bowl Classic. The former Natick resident found professional success on both sides of the border, spending 12 seasons in the NFL, including four with the New England Patriots, and eight in the Canadian Football League, where he captured three Grey Cups—one with the Calgary Stampeders, and two with the Toronto Argonauts.

Since retiring a Patriot in 2005, Flutie has stepped inside the broadcast booth, providing color commentary for NBC Sports’ coverage of Notre Dame football. Flutie was set to call Saturday’s game between BC and Notre Dame at Fenway Park.

“Everyone in the NBC Sports family was saddened to learn today of the tragic news regarding the passing of Doug’s parents, Dick and Joan,” NBC Sports executive producer Sam Flood said in a statement. “As a valuable colleague, teammate, and friend, we know what an important role Doug’s parents played in his life. We offer our most sincere condolences to Doug and the entire Flutie family during this difficult time.”