An assistant softball coach at Michigan State University has died following a rollover crash on Interstate 96 near Lansing.
State police say 47-year-old Charles Fobbs swerved to avoid traffic that slowed Wednesday night in Ingham County's LeRoy Township, lost control of his vehicle and crashed. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Fobbs lived in the Detroit suburb of Wayne County's Canton Township.
Michigan State's athletics website says Fobbs joined the softball coaching staff for the 2013 season and was a pitching instructor at Total Sports in the Detroit suburb of Wixom. He also served as a volunteer assistant coach at Michigan State during the 2009 season.
Fobbs also formerly coached football and softball at Detroit's Cass Tech High School.
Full statement from MSU's Athletic Department:
The Michigan State Athletics Department is saddened by the passing of Spartan assistant softball coach Charles Fobbs, who lost his life in an automobile accident on Wednesday, Sept. 18. Fobbs was beginning his second season on head coach Jacquie Joseph's staff, and had previously served as a volunteer assistant for the Spartans in 2009. The Canton, Mich., resident was 47.
"I'm absolutely devastated by the loss of my very good friend and a wonderful human being," said Joseph. "We have lost someone incredibly special - he dedicated his life to helping develop young people, and this is a tremendous loss. My heart is with his family and all those who had the privilege of knowing him."
"Charles Fobbs was an extraordinary coach and youth leader," added Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon. "He organized the Detroit Cannon Youth Organization 19 years ago to work with city kids while he was coaching at Cass Tech -- where his winning record was exceeded only by the capacity of his heart. His talent and his spirit of dedication and service were inspirational. He will be greatly missed."
"Our thoughts are with Charles' family and friends at this incredibly difficult time," MSU Athletics Director Mark Hollis said. "We also have heavy hearts for Jacquie Joseph and her softball family here at MSU. More than a coach, Charles was a good friend to many here in our athletics department and across the state of Michigan."
Prior to returning to MSU last fall, Fobbs served as the lead pitching instructor at Total Sports in Wixom, Mich., from 2009-12, developing elite pitchers in weekly one-on-one lessons and pitching clinics.
Fobbs was the varsity softball coach at Detroit Cass Technical High School from 1991-2008, where he compiled an overall record of 288-43. He led his team to five Detroit Public School League Championships, 12 district titles, one regional championship, and an appearance in the state quarterfinals. He was named District Coach of the Year five consecutive years (2004-2008) and Regional Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2008. He played influential roles in helping develop more than 50 athletes who received college scholarships to play softball, which includes eight current Division I players, and four Division II players. In addition, Fobbs was selected as the head coach of the annual Michigan All-Star Game in 2008.
At Cass Tech, Fobbs also served as the associate head football coach, serving as the offensive coordinator from 1994-2000 and the defensive coordinator from 2000-2008. He mentored 28 Division I football players during his tenure, including three current NFL players.
Fobbs compiled more than 15 years of club coaching experience, including three 18-under state championships and nationals appearances in 2005, 2007 and 2008.
Fobbs was the founder and CEO of the Detroit Cannon Youth Organization, a non-profit organization committed to filling the gaps for urban youth to develop into tomorrow's leaders. After founding the program in 1994, he oversaw program implementation, coordinating the summer youth developmental league, and travel team development. He took the Cannons Travel Team to the RBI World Series Final Four in 2004.
Fobbs received a bachelor's of science degree in business technology from the University of New Mexico in 1989. He is survived by his wife Lisa and stepdaughter Hannah Shuler.
Funeral arrangements are pending. When finalized, details will be posted on msuspartans.com.