College Football Coach Kelly Bills Opens Up About His Wife's Cause of Death


Mar. 15 2023, Published 9:54 a.m. ET

After a decade coaching football at the collegiate level for a number of schools, coach Kelly Bills is now opening up about a much more personal situation. Kelly's wife Emily died on Sept. 27, 2022.

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While many details about Emily's death were initially kept relatively secret, people naturally wondered about the exact circumstances. Recently, Kelly discussed his wife's cause of death. Here's what we know.

What was Kelly Bills' wife Emily's cause of death?

In a recent interview on The Jimmy Rex Show, Kelly dived into the story of his wife's death for the first time. During the interview, Kelly explained that Emily died while they were visiting family at her childhood home. He said that he remembered falling asleep with her on the night of her death, only to be awakened by her alarm at 7:30 a.m. the next morning. Kelly found Emily unresponsive, and said that he knew almost immediately that she was gone.

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Kelly and Emily Bills with their three sons
Source: Utah Tech

Kelly and Emily Bills with their three sons

Kelly said that he performed CPR on Emily until paramedics arrived, but none of their interventions saved her. He said that discovering her unresponsive was "an electrical shock through his body." He also said that the two had both been in bed with their 3-year-old child.

Kelly was then asked about what the cause of Emily's death was, and was able to provide some insight.

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Kelly said that approximately three weeks after her death, doctors found several mutations in her DNA that her family wasn't aware of.

“Unfortunately they were related to heart arrhythmia [an irregular heartbeat]," Kelly explained. "We had no idea, there were no signs."

Emily was just 33 at the time of her death, and she and Kelly share three young children together.

Emily and Kelly were married in 2009.

Kelly and Emily were married well over a decade ago, before Emily graduated from college in 2012. At the time of her death, Emily was serving as a primary president in the Tassajara Creek Ward in Pleasanton, Calif., which is part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

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Kelly has been coaching at the collegiate level for more than a decade.

Although Kelly has yet to receive his first head coaching job, he has already built a solid career coaching at the college level. Most recently, he had worked as the offensive coordinator for Central Washington University, and then as the offensive coordinator for Utah State. Kelly and Emily both seem like committed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and Kelly even went on a two-year mission trip before becoming a professional coach.

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Central Washington University Kelly Bills
Source: Central Washington University

Kelly played college football for Southern Utah State as a quarterback, and then transferred to BYU where he played for two seasons as a running back after returning from his mission trip.

Now, as Kelly continues to grieve his wife's death, there are plenty of people offering their condolences to Kelly as he learns what it's like to parent his three children alone.

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