The Oklahoma State University athletic department mourns the loss of video coordinator Jeff Naple, who passed away this morning from pancreatic cancer. He was 54 years old.
Naple served Oklahoma State for more than 25 years and was a vital contributor to the OSU football program. He originally came to Stillwater as an undergraduate in 1981, serving as a student manager with the football program under coach Jimmy Johnson. After graduation, he went on to join the athletics video staff, where he shot and edited practice and game footage and played a key role in helping the coaches prepare for each opponent. In addition to his work with football, he also served the OSU basketball program under Eddie Sutton and Sean Sutton and the Cowboy baseball program under Gary Ward and Tom Holliday.
Known around the OSU athletic department by his nickname, “Pitt”, he worked with football coaches Pat Jones and Bob Simmons, then returned to his home town of Pittsburgh, Pa., to take a job with the University of Pittsburgh. Along the way, he also worked for Webb Technology Group and shot video for the Dallas Cowboys. He returned to OSU in 2001 and worked closely with Les Miles and Mike Gundy in helping to bring Cowboy football to a consistent level of prominence.
“Pitt’s service to Oklahoma State and to Cowboy football over a span of many years was remarkable,” Gundy said. “He was outstanding at his job and played an important role in helping me do mine. We are going to miss his sense of humor and everything that he brought to our program.
“He had been battling cancer since he was diagnosed in July, but it wasn’t until about a week ago that I saw him shed a tear,” Gundy said. “It wasn’t because he was afraid of what was to come, it was because he wasn’t going to be able to serve Oklahoma State anymore. That’s how loyal he was.”
Naple is survived by his wife, Bonnie, and his 16-year-old son, Nick.
Funeral arrangements are pending. For those who want to help, a GoFundMe account has been set up for the family and can be accessed by visiting http://www.gofundme.com/zjgf7es