Report: Former Penn State Running Back Mike Gasparato Passes Away After Battle With Cancer
Former Penn State running back Mike Gasparato lost his battle to cancer on Thursday night, passing away at 37 after a year-long battle with the disease.
Gasparato was diagnosed with testicular cancer earlier this past year. He had a tumor removed when he first received a diagnosis, but after he returned to the hospital due to back pain, he learned that the cancer had returned and spread to his back, lungs, and ribs.
A Nittany Lion from 2000 to 2004, Gasparato was the backup running back behind Larry Johnson during his Penn State career. He had his best season in 2002, rushing for 158 yards and a touchdown in seven appearances.
After his Penn State career, Gasparato spent time as a graduate assistant at South Carolina, eventually becoming a high school teacher and coach at Chapin High in his home state.
The Gasparato family has long been a part of the Penn State community. Mike’s late father, Dominick Gasparato, was an offensive line coach for the Nittany Lions and won a national championship in 1986 alongside Joe Paterno.
Despite being given “maybe six weeks to live” without treatment, Gasparato bravely fought cancer for nearly a year after his diagnosis.
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Nittany Lions old and new have received new jersey numbers ahead of the 2022 season.