David Lewis, Tampa Catholic assistant, former Buccaneers linebacker, dies at 65

Tampa Catholic assistant coach David Lewis, who spent five seasons as a linebacker with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1977-81), died on Tuesday. He was 65.

A star at Southern California, Lewis was picked by the Buccaneers in the second round of the 1977 NFL Draft. He became a solid contributor, helping the beleaguered franchise reach the NFC championship game in his third season and played in the 1980 Pro Bowl.

After his NFL career was over, Lewis went to into coaching. He was hired as the head coach at Tampa Catholic in 1986. In five seasons, Lewis went 33-17 and won a district title in 1990, his final season.

He stepped down and became an assistant coach with the Crusaders for most of the past three decades.

“David was a great all-around coach who had a special bond with all of his players,” Tampa Catholic coach Jeris McIntyre said. “Words can’t express how much he will be missed. He made a tremendous impact on my life as a player and a coach.”

On Tuesday, the tributes kept coming from former players.